Fox News' Judge Jeanine Pirro calls on Paul Ryan to step down hours after Trump plugged her show.

Fox News Host Calls on Paul Ryan to Step Down Hours After Trump Plugged Her Show

Fox News Host Calls on Paul Ryan to Step Down Hours After Trump Plugged Her Show

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March 26 2017 11:45 AM

Fox News Host Calls on Paul Ryan to Step Down Hours After Trump Plugged Her Show

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Jeanine Pirro, arrives at the Trump Tower in New York for meetings with Donald Trump on Nov. 17.

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump sent out two tweets on Saturday morning, after the collapse of his first big legislative effort. First, he repeated a message from the night before, gleefully telling people not to worry because “ObamaCare will explode” and then “we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE.” Shortly thereafter, the commander in chief called on followers to watch Judge Jeanine Pirro’s show on Fox News that evening.

Ten and a half hours later, Pirro called on House Speaker Paul Ryan to step down for the failure to pass health care reform.

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"Ryan needs to step down as Speaker of the House. The reason? He failed to deliver the votes on his health care bill, the one trumpeted to repeal and replace Obamacare, the one that he had seven years to work on, the one he had 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,” Pirro said. “But this bill didn’t just fail, it failed when Republicans had the Senate, the House and the White House. The timing? It failed in the first 70 days of Donald Trump’s administration.”

As far as Pirro is concerned, none of this is Trump’s fault. After all, he’s new to Washington. “No one expected a business man to completely understand the nuances, the complicated ins and outs of Washington and its legislative process,” the Fox News host said. Ryan, however, is a different story. "You come in with all your swagger and experience and 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, based on what?" Pirro said.

Since the Friday collapse of health care, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have repeatedly said they continue to support Ryan as speaker. And Pirro, well aware that people would make a connection between the president’s tweet and what she was saying, assured viewers she had not discussed her opening statement with Trump. "When he tweeted, 'Watch Judge Jeanine tonight,' he and I had absolutely no conversation, no discussion, no email, nothing," she said.

Speaking on Fox News Sunday, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus denied there was any coordination between the White House and Pirro. “First of all, I will go on record, we do love Judge Jeanine, and so does the president,” Priebus said. “I think it was more coincidental.” Host Chris Wallace seemed to have a hard time believing that: “Come on.” Although Priebus acknowledged that he had not talked to the president about his tweet, he insisted, “There is no preplanning here.” And when he was asked directly whether Trump wanted Ryan to resign, Priebus didn’t hesitate: “No, he doesn’t.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.