President Donald Trump continues to cozy up to Fox News while denouncing most other mainstream media outlets, but his latest promotion raised a few eyebrows: On Saturday, Trump told his Twitter followers to watch Jeanine Pirro’s Justice With Judge Jeanine that night for a segment that began with the host demanding Speaker of the House Paul Ryan resign from his post.
“Paul Ryan needs to step down as speaker of the House,” Pirro kicked off her show. “The reason? He failed to deliver the votes on his healthcare bill, the one trumpeted to repeal and replace Obamacare, the one that he had seven years to work on, the one he hid under lock and key in the basement of Congress, the one that had to be pulled to prevent the embarrassment of not having enough votes to pass.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network claimed they didn’t speak with Trump on the subject. However, hours before airing, POTUS seemed to know what the segment entailed, tweeting, “Watch @JudgeJeanine on @FoxNews tonight at 9:00 P.M.” This is the first time Trump has tweeted a tune-in for the show since he was interviewed on it this past August.
Pirro continued her takedown of Ryan on Saturday, saying, “Americans elected the one man they believed could do it: a complete outsider beholden to no one but them, and Speaker Ryan, you come in with all your swagger and experience, and you sell them a bill of goods, which ends up a complete and total failure, and you allow our president, in his first 100 days, to come out of the box like that?”
The host clarified her stance, saying, “This is not on President Trump. No one expected a businessman to completely understand the nuances, the complicated ins and outs of Washington and its legislative process. How would he know which individuals upon whom he would be able to rely?”
Watch Pirro’s opening remarks below.
A week before the election this past fall, Trump said, “When we win on Nov. 8 and elect a Republican Congress, we will be able to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare.” That didn’t happen, as the GOP-dubbed American Health Care Act did not secure enough votes to pass. Afterward, Ryan declared that Americans will be “living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”
During a separate interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus addressed Trump’s promotion of Pirro’s show. “Well, first of all, I will go on record, we do love Judge Jeanine, and so does the president. I think it was more coincidental, Chris,” he said.
When further pressed by Wallace, Priebus said, “I did not talk to the president about the tweet. I’m just telling the truth. There is no preplanning here. … [Trump] loves Judge Jeanine and he wanted to [do] Judge Jeanine a favor.”
Asked if the president wants Ryan to resign, he replied, “No, he doesn’t. And he’s talked to Paul Ryan yesterday for about an hour. He believes what he said in the Oval Office on Friday. He doesn’t blame Paul Ryan. In fact, he thought Paul Ryan worked really hard. He enjoys his relationship with Paul Ryan, thinks that Paul Ryan is a great speaker of the House.”