For years, like many other liberal news outlets and late-night comedians, Maher pushed the conspiracy that the Trump campaign was in bed with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential race, even going as far as declaring then-President Trump a “traitor” for what Maher perceived was Trump’s favorable treatment of Russia following its election meddling.
However, during Friday night’s panel discussion, Maher touched on the subject of “Russiagate” while addressing the FBI raid of Trump ally Rudy Giuliani.
“Is it political payback, is this politics or is it because what Giuliani and Trump did was unprecedented? I’d say that,” Maher began.
Liberal author Thomas Frank suggested the Giuliani raid wasn’t “unprecedented,” citing the Nixon administration and how “a lot of those guys went to jail.”
“But did they involve themselves with other countries?” Maher asked. “I feel like, yes, we play dirty politics, but we always had one rule: no ringers, keep it in the family, do what you do, but don’t bring in the guy from Russia. … Look, a lot of this stuff we found out or we’re finding out was reported erroneously.”
“You mean Russiagate?” Frank asked.
“Yes,” Maher exclaimed.
The HBO star then shared his “theory” that Trump was “both an idiot and crazy” and that all of the former president’s rhetoric about Russia didn’t go any deeper as he and many liberals believed.
“We, like, thought that it had to be more of a conspiracy. It may turn out that most of it really was just what he did in public,” Maher continued. “Because it’s so insane that he was, ‘Russia, if you’re listening… ,’ and when he admitted he fired [FBI Director James] Comey, when I look back, I’m like ‘Wow, we lived through this?'”