Today, on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace confronted White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus about Donald Trump’s promotion of Fox host Jeanine Pirro’s show just hours before she went on a verbal rampage against Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Instead of flat-out denying a relationship between the two events, Priebus described them as “more coincidental."
As I previously posted, Trump tweeted yesterday morning, “Watch @JudgeJeanine on @FoxNews tonight at 9:00 P.M.” Several hours later, Pirro used her “Opening Statement” on the show to blame Ryan for the failure of Trumpcare and to demand that he step down from his role as Speaker. The sequence of events was heavily remarked upon.
Today, Wallace grilled Preibus on the subject during his Fox News Sunday interview. From the Fox News transcript (with my emphases added):
WALLACE: OK. Yesterday morning the president tweeted this, and I want to put it up. “Watch Judge Jeanine on Fox News at 9:00 p.m.”
Now, we all love Judge Jeanine on Fox News.
PRIEBUS: I do love Judge Jeanine.
WALLACE: But we were curious as to why he would call her out. … Does the president want Paul Ryan to resign as speaker?
PRIEBUS: 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. I—
WALLACE: Oh, come on.
PRIEBUS: I did not talk to the president about the tweet. I’m just telling the truth. There is no preplanning here. The president—
WALLACE: Why would he say watch her and then that’s the first thing out of her mouth?
PRIEBUS: Because he loves Judge Jeanine and he wanted to Judge Jeanine a favor.
WALLACE: So, does he want Paul Ryan to step down?
PRIEBUS: 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.
PRIEBUS: So, none of that has changed. I think this is more of a personal relationship, the president helping out a friend.
WALLACE: I assume the friend was Judge Jeanine, not Paul Ryan.
PRIEBUS: Both of them are.
WALLACE: OK, but in terms of helping out.
PRIEBUS: But as to the tweet, yes.
So what was it “more coincidental” than and “more of a personal relationship” than? Wallace did not ask. As I also previously noted, it's not as though Trump has a record of promoting anyone other than himself or his family.
It’s not as if Priebus would not have expected such a question. Why did he not fully deny that Trump deliberately promoted a show blasting his “friend” and “a great Speaker of the House?”
And why didn't Wallace ask Pirro, his own colleague, about the matter? Like Priebus, who said he had not asked Trump about the tweet, did he not want to know the answer?
Watch Priebus’ less than total denial below, from the March 26, 2017 Fox News Sunday.
Methinks Reince may soon also be “toast”.
It boggles my mind to witness the total lack of respect that the current administration is showing for common sense and intelligence. The constant stream of double think/speak reveals their conviction (aka wishful thinking?) that the whole of the country should join the ranks of the mindlessly faithful. Unfortunately, the Dear Leader did not win the popular vote and his attempts to say otherwise were so easily proven wrong that even he has abandoned that topic in his tweets. It’s too early to predict how many people will eventually abandon the intellectually impoverished eagerness to adapt their opinion to whatever they hear from the Dear Leader or his minions. However, I remain confident that the constant stream of double think and double speak is effective only in a reality where all dissent has been banned. That’s not yet the case in the USA where even the faithful are starting to express their positions as hope rather than certainty.