President Trump at a rally in Nashville last week. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) By John WagnerMarch 26 at 11:51 AM
A Fox News personality — whom President Trump had urged his supporters to watch Saturday night — called on House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) to step down, saying he had done a disservice to Trump by failing to pass a high-profile health-care bill last week.
“It failed within the first 70 days of President Donald Trump’s administration, a president who made the replacement of Obamacare the hallmark of his campaign and then used valuable political capital to accomplish it,” said Pirro, placing the blame squarely on Ryan.
“Speaker Ryan, you come in with all your swagger and experience and you sell 'em 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?” she said. “Your legislative expertise, your knowledge of the arcane ins and outs of the bill-writing process? Your relationships? What? Your drinks at the Hay-Adams with your pals?”
On Sunday, during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” White House chief of staff Reince Priebus called Trump's tweet and Pirro's call for Ryan to step down “coincidental.”
“There is no preplanning here,” Priebus said, adding that Trump promoted Pirro's show on Twitter “because he loves Judge Jeanine” and wanted to do her a favor.
Trump “doesn't blame Paul Ryan” for the defeat of the Affordable Care Act overhaul, Priebus said. “He thinks Paul Ryan is a great speaker of the House.”
Pirro said there had been no coordination with Trump in her messaging.
“When he tweeted, ‘Watch Judge Jeanine tonight,’ he and I had absolutely no conversation, no discussion, no email, nothing,” she said.
On Sunday, a spokeswoman for Ryan said his relationship with Trump has not been damaged.
"The speaker and president talked for an hour yesterday about moving forward on the agenda, and their relationship is stronger than ever right now," AshLee Strong said.
Republicans withdrew the American Health Care Act moments before a scheduled vote on March 24, after failing to woo enough lawmakers to support it. Here are the key turning points in their fight to pass the bill.(Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)