In one of his signature early Saturday morning tweets, Donald Trump asked his followers to tune into a Fox News show on that evening, where apparently, he had been told the host would do a lengthy commentary calling on House Speaker Paul Ryan to step down.
Judge Jeanine Pirro, the Fox News host, on her Saturday evening show’s feature commentary ‘Opening Statement’ said that “Ryan needs to step down as Speaker of the House. The reason, he failed to deliver the votes on his healthcare bill, the one trumpeted to repeal and replace Obamacare. The one 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.”
“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 one hundred days, to come out of the box like that, based on what?” Pirro continued.
Pirro’s harsh critique of the House Speaker was peppered with praise for the President and held him completely unaccountable for the staggering failure of the bill, almost to the point of making Trump look like a buffoon who was tricked by the House Speaker.
Trump attempted to boost Pirro’s commentary hours before the show — obviously aware of what she would say — by tweeting “Watch @JudgeJeanine on @FoxNews tonight at 9:00 P.M.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2017
The move was unusual in that normally when Trump urges his followers to watch a TV program, it is because he is appearing on them.
The move continues to cement the image that the President operates in politics much like a teenager in high school. There appears to be almost no upside to the move, outside of some personal feeling of satisfaction in that Pirro said what Trump refrained from saying to the press in the Oval Office after the catastrophe unfolded or on Twitter on Saturday.
In fact, there are only down sides. To the extent the Speaker had any level of trust in Trump, that has now been further eroded. Also, the tweet, together with the way he handled various meetings with his party in trying to get votes for the bill, will certainly have nothing but a negative impact on any belief on the part of Republican lawmakers that this President can be trusted.
It comes at a particularly bad time for Trump, as despite all of his bluster and threats, not only was unable to garner support for the legislation, but in fact, appears to have lost votes with his chest pumping.
Once again, Trump appears to have shot himself in the foot. This, after he had tried to be a team member in public, even though he did so ever so amateurishly.
In her ‘Opening Statement,’ Pirro made claim that “I have not spoke with the President about any of this” — a claim which was not just unnecessary, but also not believable in light of Trump’s tweet. She added “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 outs of Washington and its legislative process. How would he know on what individuals he could rely?”
Either Trump is the supreme negotiator, the deal maker extraordinaire, the savvy operator who “knows more than the generals,” or he is a sniveling, amateur who is in way over his head. He needs to make that decision. So far, he is proving to be the latter.