Coincidence? You’re Fired-By-Proxy? Collateral damage? The Sunday morning Beltway programs parsed the motivations and fall out of Judge Jeanine Pirro’s televised demand for the resignation of house speaker Paul Ryan – a Saturday night performance handed a world-wide promo earlier in the day by President Donald Trump himself.
“Watch @JudgeJeanine on @FoxNews tonight at 9:00 P.M.,” Trump tweeted yesterday morning, offering no clues about what his old pal Pirro might be discussing.
So last night, Pirro kicked off Justice With Judge Jeanine with a six-minute “Opening Statement” blasting Ryan for the failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. Depicting Trump as a RINO-trampled victim, Pirro delivered a buck-stops-in-the-House sermon. (Watch it above.)
President Donald Trump Tweetstorm - The Sunday Edition
“Speaker Ryan, you come in with all your swagger and experience and you sell him 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?”
She continued: “Folks, I want to be clear, this is not on President Trump. No one expected a businessman to completely understand the nuances, the complicated ins and out of Washington and its legislative process. How would he know which individuals upon whom he would be able to rely, many of them friends and establishment colleagues of Speaker Ryan?”
Pirro said she has “not spoken with the president about any of this,” and that Trump is handling the defeat “with dignity.” Trump continued that approach with a tweet today condemning both Democrats and conservative GOP groups for the Trumpcare defeat.
So why did Trump give Pirro the big pre-show shout-out? An example, maybe, of his recent self-proclaimed powers of prognostication?
On MSNBC, correspondent Kelly O’Donnell said White House spokesman Sean Spicer told her that “the president likes the show, only wanted to help the show, nothing more.” On Fox News Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told Chris Wallace, “First of all, I will go on record, we do love Judge Janine, and so does the president. I think it was more coincidental, Chris. I did not talk to the president about the tweet. I’m just telling the truth. There is no preplanning here.”
Over on CNN, Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter offered a grounded explanation. Throughout the day Saturday, Fox News Channel was plugging Pirro’s program with a countdown clock promising a show about Trump’s wiretapping claims.
“We think there’s some sort of collusion or conspiracy with Trump and Fox News,” CNN reporter Dylan Byers told Stelter, “but the truth is I think you’re right – he’s just watching, he’s just responding. I mean, he’s probably just responding to the news – he’s seeing a countdown clock the way any other viewer would see a countdown clock. The difference is, they’re not the President of the United States.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.