So much has happened in the news since Bill Maher closed out his 16th season of Real Time on HBO back in November that he couldn’t wait until this coming Friday’s 17th season premiere to share his thoughts. The comedian spent about 10 minutes chopping it up with MSNBC host Chris Matthews Tuesday evening, tackling everything from the latest revelations about Trump and Putin to the Steve King debacle and more.
Asked by the Hardball host right off the bat what he makes of Trump reportedly “working for the bad guys” in Russia, Maher replied, “It’s about time.”
“I’ve been using the word ‘treason’ and ‘traitor’ for the whole time he’s been in office and every guest has been saying I was an alarmist and I was overstating the case,” he continued. “I don’t hear that anymore. I hear those words used a lot more.”
“I mean, what is it when you’re plainly with the people who are not us?” Maher asked. “Didn’t we see that in Helsinki? Plainly, he was saying given the choice I’d go with President Putin, ‘President Putin says he didn’t do it, I don’t know why he would?’ Can you imagine if Bush after 9/11 had stood on the rubble with the bullhorn and said ‘Well, Bin Laden said he didn’t do it, I don’t know why he would have.’”
Maher said he doesn’t know “how we get out of this” except somehow removing Trump from office. “I wasn’t necessarily for impeachment until recently but I think you have to go ahead and do it,” he said. “I know it’s pretty hard to convict, but if you don’t do it with him, where is the bar? And what sort of damage is he going to do for the next two years he is there in this office? I think the question for everybody is, whose side are you on?”
Predicting what might come out of the Mueller investigation, Maher told Matthews, “Look, it’s not that complicated. At some point he couldn’t borrow money from anybody else, so he got it from the Russians. Cut to the hookers in the hotel room.” He added, “I don’t know if it was witting or unwitting, but when you’re a narcissist like him, it doesn’t really matter, he doesn’t think that far ahead.”
Later in the interview, Maher moved on to another Washington story that is likely to come up on his show this week. When Matthews brought up the resolution passed in Congress on Tuesday that officially condemned GOP Rep. Steve King’s comments on white supremacy, Maher rolled his eyes and said, “I mean, look where the bar is, Chris, that we’re cheering the Republicans because they say they don’t believe in white supremacy. This is how far down we’ve gone. This is where they draw the line.”
Finally, asked if he thinks any of the prospective 2020 Democratic candidates could be “truly great” presidents, Maher said, “Any presidency would be better.”