Bill Maher: Giuliani raid “unprecedented” — but so were Trumpworld’s actions

“Yes, we play dirty politics, but we used to always have one rule: no ringers. Keep it in the family."

By Brett Bachman
Published May 1, 2021 4:53PM (UTC)
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Bill Maher (HBO)

Bill Maher reflected Friday evening on the "unprecedented" nature of a federal raid this week on the home of former New York City Mayor and personal attorney to former President Donald Trump Rudy Giuliani, adding at one point that the actions of Trump and his associates were likely to blame for the historic move.

"This is unprecedented for one of two reasons: Is it political payback, and this is politics?" Maher said on his HBO show, "Real Time with Bill Maher. "Or is it because what Giuliani and Trump did was unprecedented? I would say that."

He opened the segment by jokingly referring to it as "Giuliani time," a reference to an alleged 1997 incident in which police officers said "It's Giuliani time" before brutally beating and sexually assaulting a suspect, Abner Louima, at a Brooklyn precinct house (though Louima later recanted his statement about the phrase). It was also the title of a subsequent documentary which explored the incident and the repercussions of the controversial "Stop and Frisk" policing policies Giuliani implemented during his time as mayor, which have been repeatedly shown to disproportionately affect Black and Latino youth.

When one of Maher's guests, the author and historian Thomas Frank, pointed out that political cronyism and corruption are time-honored American traditions made famous by the crimes of the Nixon administration, Maher responded, "But did they involve themselves with other countries?"

"Yes, we play dirty politics, but we used to always have one rule: no ringers. Keep it in the family. Do what you do, but don't bring in the guy from Russia."

You can watch the full clip below via YouTube:


Brett Bachman

Brett Bachman is the Nights/Weekend Editor at Salon.

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Bill Maher Clip Department Of Justice Donald Trump Fbi Politics Rudy Giuliani