Over the first few minutes of the segment, he peppered Schlapp with questions about how he has stayed loyal to Trump despite repeated tests of his faith, a number of which Maher ran by Schlapp. There was Trump’s failure to secure money for a border wall; unsuccessful diplomatic talks with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un; and decision to give his kids and son-in-law Jared Kushner security clearances over the objections of the CIA and FBI.
On the border wall, Schlapp countered, “Call it what you will — a fence, a barrier, a wall. It’s being built.” On Trump’s siding with Kim, who claimed he knew nothing about the treatment of Otto Warmbier, an Ohioan who died after being beaten while in police custody in North Korea, Schlapp shrugged, “He’s in nuclear diplomacy, trying to make sure we don’t have a nuclear weapon appear in Hawaii.” On the kids’ clearances, Schlapp wondered, “What about Rosalyn Carter? Jimmy Carter said she could walk into any meeting she wanted to. She wasn’t elected to do anything.”
The exchange didn’t really draw much blood, in large part because Maher began the segment by complimenting Schlapp for being willing to come on a left-leaning TV show, unlike Democrats eschewing Fox News. Maher might have saved a winning line from his monologue to help spice up the Schlapp interview. Marveling at the 2 hour 20 minute length of Trump’s flag-hugging speech at CPAC, he joked, “There were children born at the beginning of the speech. By the time he was done, they were dating R. Kelly.”
Maher redeemed the segment with a somewhat strained but ingratiating bit at the end. He pulled out an oversized, made-up book called If Obama Did It, with the gag being that it was filled with things Trump did, asking the reader to imagine the consequences if the same things had happened during Obama’s two terms. The jailing of Trump’s former lawyer, campaign manager and national campaign adviser and indictment of “albino assassin Roger Stone” headed the list. Russia, inevitably, also merited a page in the book, with Maher wondering what the reaction would have been to Obama consorting with Russians in the Oval Office.
Having gotten Schlapp to budge only on the point that, yes, OK, if Trump didn’t agree to leave the White House after being defeated in 2020, maybe that would be enough to dim Schlapp’s enthusiasm.
In closing the segment, and getting only a few hands to quietly stir when invited to clap for Schlapp, Maher muttered, “Oh man … that ain’t easy.”
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