Bill Maher confronts Rep. Duncan Hunter about McCain insults

"I really hope you lose your next election," Maher said

By Nicole Karlis

Senior Writer

Published May 12, 2018 5:01AM (EDT)

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

Duncan Hunter, a California Republican House representative, braved a Bill Maher interrogation on Friday night. Indeed, on "Real Time with Bill Maher," Maher surprisingly decided not to interrogate him about the federal probe for alleged campaign-finance violations he's facing. Instead, he wanted to talk about President Donald Trump—and the insults that have been reportedly surfaced from the White House about Republican Arizona Senator, John McCain.

“I’m very impressed that you showed up,” Maher said to Hunter. “You’re a Republican, you’re one of Trump’s first supporters."

Maher continued by taking Hunter's temperature about the insults that have been made about McCain who is currently battling brain cancer. Kelly Sadler, a White House aide, reportedly distastefully joked about Sen. McCain's opposition to CIA nominee Gina Haspel, and said that "he's dying anyway"—suggesting that his vote does not matter.

Hunter is a military veteran, and Maher was curious what he thought about a comment like this.

“It’s pretty rotten," Hunter said. "The torture thing is different. You shouldn’t make fun of people when they’re dying but when you and I pass away, I’m sure some people are going to tweet bad things about it. I think with the oversensationalism and everything being on the 24-hour news cycle and the tweets, you’re gonna have people say bad things about everybody that dies.”

“You’re a veteran,” Maher said. “Come on. This doesn’t bother you and other veterans?”

“No. So, to be honest, we make fun because we’re in the military, it’s hard to ask someone who’s been in the military and has made every crass joke known to man—worse than you’ve made, I mean really bad jokes,” Hunter said. “I’ve made the same John McCain joke with my friends, who are other Marines.”

Maher brought up Haspel's nomination, and asked if whether or not she should be the CIA director. Haspel was under fire this week for dodging questions on if she thought torture was immoral or not.

“I differ with McCain on torture,” Hunter said. “[Haspel oversaw torture] when it was needed. I don’t call it torture, let’s call it ‘really mean interrogation techniques.’ They’re not on the medieval rack, this isn’t the end of Braveheart.”

Maher concluded his interview with a warm farewell for Hunter.

“I think you’re a great guy, I really hope you lose your next election," Maher said.

Watch the full interview here:

By Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a senior writer at Salon, specializing in health and science. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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Bill Maher Duncan Hunter John Mccain Real Time With Bill Maher