Bill Maher Grills Pro-Trump CPAC Chief Matt Schlapp: ‘Fox News Is Basically Running Our Government’
The ‘Real Time’ host got testy with the conservative lobbyist and Fox News contributor on his HBO program.
On Friday night, Bill Maher welcomed another pro-Trump conservative onto Real Time: Matt Schlapp, head of the American Conservative Union (and by extension CPAC).
Schlapp, who has a penchant for firing off racist tweets—and once invited the alt-right troll (and noted defender of hebephilia) Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at his conference—was first given props for stepping into “the lion’s den,” as Maher called it. Then the host got down to business. '
“Michael Cohen, at the end of his testimony, gave a kind of warning,” offered Maher. “He said, I worked for Trump for 10 years, and I believed him, and I lied for him, and I followed him, and those who are doing that now, you’re going to suffer the same fate as me. Did you see any Ghosts of Christmas Future when he said that?”
“No, I don’t associate myself with Mr. Cohen,” Schlapp replied, adding, “Actually, what [Trump] told me he was gonna do as president he has simply done. All the major things he ran on—people don’t have to agree with what he said he was going to do—but what did he say he was going to do?”
“Build a wall—and Mexico would pay for it?” fired back Maher, mentioning one of several promises Trump made during the campaign that he hasn’t kept. Others include: ending birthright citizenship, starting a commission on “radical Islam,” defunding Planned Parenthood and sanctuary cities, repealing Obamacare, investing $550 billion in infrastructure, etc.
Later on, Maher brought up President Trump’s disturbing statement concerning the death of Otto Warmbier: that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un had told him he did not kill him, and that Trump takes the dictator “at his word.”
“I think Kim killed that young man, and I think Kim is a dictator, and I think he’s a horrible person,” said Schlapp. “I read the quote. I’m giving you my opinion. My opinion is that it’s a brutal regime where they kill people.”
“OK, but [Trump] said he believed Kim!” exclaimed Maher.
“I understand that. And what I also understand is he’s in nuclear diplomacy to try to make sure we don’t have a nuclear weapon appear in Hawaii,” said Schlapp.
The comedian’s conservative guest struggled to defend many of Trump’s actions. When it came to Trump demanding that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump get top-level security clearance, against the wishes of the CIA and FBI, Schlapp countered with, “Rosalynn Carter could go to any meeting”—to which Maher stated, “I don’t remember Rosalynn Carter being in charge of the Middle East… It’s completely unprecedented to put your son-in-law in charge of the Middle East.”
“I agree with that,” Schlapp conceded.
Towards the tail end of their chat, Maher questioned Schlapp about Jane Mayer’s recent Fox News investigation in The New Yorker—one that revealed candidate Trump received presidential debate questions from the network, that the network sought to protect him by killing the Stormy Daniels story, and more.
“Let me ask you about Fox News,” said Maher. “[Jane Mayer] is saying that Fox News is basically running our government… this is unprecedented, too, the fact that Sean Hannity does a show every night praising Trump, and then after the show Sean Hannity and Trump talk. Now, if Obama was talking to Rachel Maddow every night, what would you think?”
Naturally, Schlapp changed the subject.