Bill Maher lays into Republicans for deciding that "treason is better than working with Democrats"

Maher summed up the GOP's handling of the Russia scandal as being, "Treason is better than working with Democrats."

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published March 3, 2018 6:00PM (EST)

Bill Maher (Getty Images)
Bill Maher (Getty Images)

During his most recent episode of "Real Time with Bill Maher," the titular talk show host called out Republicans for siding with Russia — that is, committing treason — over Democrats regarding President Donald Trump's alleged collusion with the Russian government.

"We're supposed to still be part of the American tribe," Maher opined to Amy Chua, author of the book "Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations," while interviewing him on Friday. "You know, they always said if Mars attacked, then we and Russia would get together. But as it is now, Mars hasn't attacked, so we're still supposed to be against Russia as Americans. It seems to have gotten a little out of whack here when the Republicans hate the Democrats, that tribe, so much that they're with the Russian tribe over the Democrats."

He added that the Republican attitude seemed to be, "Treason is better than working with Democrats."

It wasn't the first time on Friday night that Maher explicitly accused Trump and his supporters of treason. During a panel segment with former attorney general Eric Holder and historian Jon Meacham, Maher commented that Democrats should accuse Republicans of treason as a campaign strategy in the 2018 midterm elections.

"So why can't the Democrats make treason a campaign issue then?" Maher asked Holder and Meacham after the three discussed the Trump administration's "ostentatious" corruption. "I mean if it's that open — and I think it is — I don't know why, they don't seem to be making it an issue. They seem to be shrinking from it as an issue." Maher then quoted a recent editorial by billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer which described how the Justice Department indicted 13 Russians for the "electoral attack" that occurred during the 2016 presidential election and how Trump has done nothing in response.

"Trump is derelict in his duties," Holder said in agreement with Maher and Steyer. "We were attacked. We were attacked. I mean, it wasn't a physical attack, it was an electronic attack on the most vital of our systems, and he has done absolutely nothing to prepare us for what is to come. 'Cause they're still coming, they're gonna come in 2018, they're gonna come in 2020. And he's done nothing to hold the Russians accountable in spite of the fact that, in this dysfunctional world we have, this dysfunctional Congress passed sanctions that he has refused to implement."

Maher agreed, noting again during the panel segment that Trump had not ordered his subordinated to do anything about the Russian subversion of America's electoral system.

Maher did not limit his criticisms of Republicans to the Russia issue. He devoted his opening monologue to the resignation of former White House communications director Hope Hicks, the numerous security-related scandals that have emerged regarding Trump's son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner and the president's flip-flopping positions on gun control. Later during the program, he commended two of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school shooting survivors for standing up to conservative politicians on the issue of gun control.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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