UPDATE with Schiff interview video Is Donald Trump just an epaulet away from being a dictator? According to Bill Maher’s on-going “Dictator’s Checklist,” it appears so.
With Trump’s announcement this week that he’d love a military parade, Maher was able to cross off yet another entry on the authoritarian to-do list he unveiled on an episode of last season’s Real Time With Bill Maher.
That puts the president within one still-to-be-checked item for a perfect 10. All he needs is “Military Costume.”
“It’s pretty scary,” Maher said, somewhere between a joke and a wince. The roster before tonight: narcissism and “name or face on buildings”; family members in positions of power; rallies; his own propaganda outlet (“Fox,” said Maher); using the office for personal financial gain; aligned with other other dictators and strongmen; claims minorities are responsible for the country’s problems; “and you lie so freely that people don’t know what the truth is anymore.”
“The last one, the one he hasn’t done?,” said Maher. “Military costume.”
“That’s the day I have to resign,” said panelist April Ryan, White House correspondent for the American Urban Radio Network.
“It’ll be Real Time from Vancouver,” Maher quipped.
Also on tonight’s show, Rep. Adam Schiff, Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, lambasted Trump for blocking the Democrats’ rebuttal to the Nunes Memo, sarcastically ascribing the president’s decision to a “newfound admiration for the FBI.” (See the interview above.)
During the YouTube-only Overtime segment of the show, Schiff told Maher that he and Devin Nunes, the California Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who composed the controversial four-page memo that Trump did release, “used to get along very well together.”
“Same home state, same support and love of the Oakland Raiders,” Schiff said.
And he didn’t use to be a nut, Maher interjected.
“I think what happened,” Schiff continued, “is the Chairman got very close to the president during the campaign. He was part of the transition team. He had a seat at the table. That’s a very heady thing, and then when he was put in charge of the investigation, he still wanted a seat at the table, and he couldn’t do both credibly. And the investigation is what suffered.”