Just two and a half years after fantasizing about a retroactive abortion for then-Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence, author Fran Lebowitz offered up more outrageous commentary on Friday’s edition of Real Time. This time, Lebowitz shared her desire that the Saudis murder President Trump.
In spite of her history of making rancid comments, host Bill Maher described Lebowitz as “the wisest person I know.” Shortly after Maher introduced her, Lebowitz started off with run-of-the-mill anti-Trump commentary, talking about how she was “plagued” by the President and comparing him to an “awful, chronic ailment that you try to ignore.”
When Maher asked Lebowitz for her thoughts on impeachment, she stated “certainly, he deserves to be impeached” before arguing that “impeachment would be just the beginning of what he deserves, not even scratching the surface of what he deserves.” She then expanded on her point, ultimately concluding that President Trump “deserves” death: “I think about this and what he really deserves, I think we should turn him over to the Saudis. You know, his buddies. The same Saudis who, you know, got rid of that reporter. You know, maybe they could do the same for him.”
For the record, Lebowitz attempted to issue a half-hearted apology on the “Overtime” portion of Real Time. Maher basically coached her on exactly what to say: “You were making a joke and it went too far. We’re sorry. Is that where we’re at?” Lebowitz responded: “This is what the producer said. He said ‘we’re getting blowback on Twitter or something.’”
Lebowitz claimed that she “didn’t even realize” that she said it before mentioning that she had 12 cups of coffee and finally apologizing: “I regret saying it.” Maher coached Lebowitz to acknowledge that she did not “really want to see the President dismembered by the Saudis.” Another member of the panel, Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress, argued that “jail is fine” as a punishment for President Trump.
Maher stressed that “no matter who the President is, we do not want physical harm.” Lebowitz attempted to make it clear that she “did not mean that,” restating that “I regret saying it.” Lebowitz appeared to step on her own apology by saying “I regret that everyone misinterpreted it…because they misinterpret everything.” Tanden, clearly a member of the Fran Lebowitz fan club, told the author that “I really think you should be on Twitter.”
While Lebowitz is not on Twitter, her comment is trending on Twitter; with more than 19,000 tweets and counting. It looks like the “blowback” will continue throughout the weekend.
A transcript of the relevant portion of Friday’s edition of Real Time is below. Click “expand” to read more.
Real Time With Bill Maher
BILL MAHER: Okay, so, Fran, the first thing I want to ask you about. Trump, we don’t want to talk about him the whole show but you’re the wisest person I know. I deal with something…
FRAN LEBOWITZ: Not a high bar.
MAHER: You don’t think I know wise people? Come on. Some of them even come on the show. But I think a lot of people are like me, they have this dilemma. We don’t want to devote all our time to Trump but we don’t want to be a bad citizen and ignore it. So how do you strike that balance?
LEBOWITZ: I mean, are you asking me am I…if I’m, if I’m sick of thinking about Donald Trump?
LEBOWITZ: You cannot imagine how sick I am of thinking about Donald Trump. You know, on the other hand, it’s…I wouldn’t say I’m thinking about him, you know, he doesn’t really require thought. You know, I would say more I’m plagued by him. You know, it’s like having an awful, chronic ailment that you try to ignore, you know. But if you do ignore it for like 20 minutes, like I just said to someone, I’ve been here for an hour, I haven’t seen any news. Have we invaded Sweden? Because you don’t know what he’s going to do next. You know, and that’s why we think about him a lot.
MAHER: Were you depressed when the Mueller report came out last…I mean, that hit me kind of hard.
LEBOWITZ: I’m depressed most of the time, Bill so it’s a little hard. I…I was, I didn’t have the highest hopes for the Mueller report. Only because I remembered Robert Mueller was the Republican and he was head of the FBI…
LEBOWITZ: …you know, so I didn’t like think he was the second coming of Thurgood Marshall as many people seemed to imagine. But, you know, I was…I, I seem to have retained…the most useful thing about me is that I have retained an ability to be shocked by these people. So I was shocked by Barr.
MAHER: You are. You are. For some…
LEBOWITZ: I was shocked. It’s…it’s shocking. It’s shocking. It’s, it’s, it’s a criminal thing that he did, you know, so I never thought that he would do this thing, that he would rewrite the thing, you know, and then give you a completely false idea of what it…was in it and then stop anyone from finding anything about it. I did not expect that because…
MAHER: Where are you, where are you on impeachment? Yes, no?
LEBOWITZ: You know, I change my mind from day-to-day…I mean, where am I on impeachment? I…certainly he deserves to be impeached. I mean, that…
MAHER: Deserves, I know, we all think that.
LEBOWITZ: Impeachment would be just the beginning of what he deserves, you know, not even scratching the surface of what he deserves. You know…
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
MAHER: But it’s a practical matter. It’s a practical matter.
LEBOWITZ: Whenever, you know, I think about this and what he really deserves, I think we should turn him over to the Saudis, you know, his buddies. The same Saudis, you know, who got rid of that reporter. You know, maybe they could do the same for him.
LEBOWITZ: You know, I, I, you know, I don’t know…I think at this point, I do feel that we should. When I say we, of course, it’s not us, it’s them. You know, we’re always saying “we” but it’s never “we.” You know, it’s them, you know, so yes.
MAHER: Right, we’re not doing it.
LEBOWITZ: I think they should impeach him, we’re not in charge, you know. I do. I think they should start impeachment.
A transcript of the relevant portion of Friday’s edition of Real Time’s “Overtime” segment is below Click “expand” to read more.
BILL MAHER: All right. We’re here on the internet so we’re going to read some cards from the people but first, what…what, what happened? You were…you said something and they’re mad at you? I know this feeling. But what’d you…what, what the thing you said about the Saudis? You were making a joke and it went too far. We’re sorry. Is that where we’re at?
FRAN LEBOWITZ: This is what the producer said. He said “we’re getting blowback on Twitter or something.”
MAHER: Okay, well…
LEBOWITZ: I mean, I…I saw your face when I said it. I didn’t even realize that I said it.
MAHER: Yeah, it’s just…
LEBOWITZ: I had 12 cups of coffee. I regret saying it.
MAHER: Okay, there you go. I mean, you know, it’s like everyone’s too, everyone’s too, too, too, too, you know? I mean, it’s a live show. You don’t really want to see the President dismembered by the Saudis.
LEBOWITZ: No, I don’t.
MAHER: You know, I don’t like Donald Trump either…
NEERA TANDEN: Yeah.
MAHER: But yes, we, you know, I had…
TANDEN: I agree.
MAHER: Kathy Griffin on and I said, no I don’t…
TANDEN: Jail is fine.
MAHER: Yes, I said we should forgive Kathy Griffin but I don’t endorse what she said either…
MAHER: Or did…you know, it was not the right thing and no matter who the President…
LEBOWITZ: Bad comparison.
MAHER: Right. Okay. But no matter who, no matter what the President is, we do not want physical harm…
LEBOWITZ: I did not mean that and I regret saying it.
LEBOWITZ: I regret that everyone misinterpreted it…
LEBOWITZ: …because they misinterpret everything.
LEBOWITZ: Why should they stop with me?
TANDEN: I really think you should be on Twitter.
LEBOWITZ: I’m very happy I’m not on Twitter.