Bill Maher was not pulling any punches Friday night. During his monologue on the latest edition of HBO’s Real Time, the indisputable godfather of late-night political comedy tore into what he called President Trump’s “war on facts,” as well as his series of freedom-stripping executive orders—which he seems to be reveling in due to the ceremony and photo ops.
“He keeps holding [the executive orders] up after he signs them, like, ‘Look! Look mommy, I finished my coloring! Maybe we can put it on the refrigerator!’ The problem is, you know, executive orders are a real thing. When Obama did it he had the lawyers go over it, people knew what was happening in the departments. No one knows how these things are going to work! Nobody knows where the money’s coming from. They’re just signed tweets,” said Maher. “[Trump’s] first week was—oh my god—it was like the last half-hour of Goodfellas, where Ray Liotta is coked out of his mind and doing ten things at once,” he continued. “He’s dropping off a trunk full of handguns, and he’s making spaghetti sauce, and helicopters are chasing him. It can’t really go on like this for four years, can it? I’m gonna lose my mind.”
The political satirist and late-night then focused on President Trump’s first-week delusions, including that 3-5 million people voted illegally for Hillary Clinton (not true), and that his Inauguration Day crowd was the largest ever (not even close).
“There is, in just one week, a lot to be very alarmed about. But I gotta put on the top of my list the fact that the President of the United States sees multitudes that do not exist,” said Maher. “He insisted that the crowd size at the inauguration was the biggest ever—and that aerial photography is just a theory. But we saw this! We saw these pictures. Half the mall covered in whiteness—but enough about his supporters. I mean, he can’t stand it that when it comes to the size of the crowd, Obama’s was bigger. This is about cock, right? This is about dick! This is about a guy who never brought a woman to orgasm, that’s what this is about. He probably doesn’t even think it really exists in a woman: It’s rigged. The vagina is very rigged.” “And then we’re told, you know, that there are such things as ‘alternative facts.’ That’s what this week will be known for: ‘alternative facts,’” Maher added. “And Sean Spicer, his press secretary, about the crowd size he just went, ‘This is what the President believes. You’re on your own.’ I think the difference between Scientology and Donald Trump is that Scientology has better celebrities.”
Later on, The Daily Beast’s editor-in-chief John Avlon appeared on the program to discuss his new book, Washington’s Farewell, and the danger of “foreign influence” on the U.S. government—which one of George Washington’s biggest fears, and is relevant to Russia’s supposed meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
“We are so deep into somewhere between situational ethics and willful stupidity,” said Avlon. “But Washington did warn us about a lot of this stuff. This is received wisdom. When Washington wrote his farewell address, he was writing it as a warning to future generations about the forces he felt could destroy our Democratic Republic: hyperpartisanship and foreign wars and influence. These are ripped-from-the-headlines things.” “But hyperpartisanship, these political factions who hijack our democracy and make it so dysfunctional, Washington warned, that eventually people get so frustrated that they open the door to a demagogue with authoritarian ambitions,” he added, “this is one of the ways that democracy dies.”