As he interviewed former Attorney General Eric Holder Friday, Real Time host Bill Maher resurrected his paranoia about President Trump refusing to leave office if he loses the election. In addition, the HBO host told Holder he wanted him to run for president “next time” and did his best to downplay the sexual assault allegation against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
After Holder explained how his National Democratic Redistricting Committee would work to ensure a “fair, safe election in November,” Maher expressed his doubts about Holder’s vision becoming a reality. According to Maher, “I don’t see any scenario” where that election will “go well” because “I don’t think Trump…I cannot picture that man gracefully conceding and walking away” if he loses.
For his part, Holder tried to reassure Maher that his nightmare scenario would not come to fruition; predicting that “on the day of the inauguration, I actually think that he will leave.” Holder proceeded to inform Maher that if President Trump does not leave voluntarily, law enforcement officials “have the ability” to “pull him out…of the White House.”
Still unconvinced, Maher questioned whether “they have the will” to do that because “police love his dirty draws.” In spite of Maher’s concern, Holder concluded that law enforcement would “do the right thing” if President Trump refused to step down and the two ultimately agreed to disagree.
Later, Maher was rather dismissive of Tara Reade’s accusation against Joe Biden; saying that he initially thought her allegation was “ridiculous” and indicating that he wished “no one would pay any attention to it.” The left-wing comic also complained that such an allegation was “injected into a campaign at all” in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Maher begrudgingly admitted that “it’s being paid attention to” and asked Holder for his thoughts on how Biden should address the allegation.
In his final question to Holder, Maher asked the former Attorney General why he decided not to run for president this past cycle. During his response, Holder stressed that only one out of the five people in his household wanted him to throw his hat into the ring. Maher obviously felt differently about the prospect of a Holder presidential campaign, declaring “I vote that you should next time.”
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: My first guest, honored to have him, the former Attorney General under President Obama; who’s now chair of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, Eric Holder. Great to see you, Mr. Attorney General, thanks for doing this.
ERIC HOLDER: Good to see you too, Bill.
MAHER: Well, so, you know, one of the problems I find with the pandemic is that it’s very hard to have a conversation even with anybody else…with anybody about anything else. It’s the only issue that people talk about and I think we are losing sight of the fact we’re six months from an election…
MAHER: …which I know you are trying to make sure comes out fair and square. Is that what your committee is all about? Or is it a fancy way of saying gerrymandering?
ERIC HOLDER: Well, we want to try to combat what happened in 2011 when the Republicans really gerrymandered to a degree that we’ve not seen in…in recent memory, but we also focused on this presidential election and the elections more generally in November; to try to make sure that everybody who wants to cast a ballot in November has the ability to do so and can do so in a…in a safe way. Again, our focus is on gerrymandering, but we don’t want to just fight for structures that we want to put in place and then be…have an election in November that doesn’t go well and that would scuttle all of the work that we’re doing. So, we have really kind of broadened what it is we are doing, fighting for a fair, safe election in November as well as concentrating…continuing to concentrate on our anti-gerrymandering efforts.
MAHER: So, you think there is a scenario where that election does go well? Because I don’t…I don’t see any scenario where it does because as I’ve been saying for years now, I don’t think Trump…I…I do not…I cannot picture that man gracefully conceding and walking away, and I keep asking Democrats, you’re probably the one with the most law enforcement experience I’ve ever asked this… what do you do if he says “It was rigged, blah, blah, blah, it’s not safe for me to leave”, whatever bullshit he’s going to come up with, and refuses to leave. I want to know what the plan is.
HOLDER: Well, you know, I…I think he will certainly say when he loses, that it was rigged, that it was unfair. He’ll come up with all kinds of reasons why he will cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election and I’m really worried about what happens between November, his defeat, and when he actually leaves office in January. That, I think, is the period we should be focused on. He will still have presidential power and God only knows how he’ll use it. On the day of the inauguration, I actually think that he will leave and if he doesn’t leave, the United States Marshal Service, the Metropolitan Police Department here in Washington, D.C., the Secret Service, all have the ability to pull him out of…of the White House…
HOLDER: …and we’ll get on with the inauguration and the presidency of…of Joe Biden.
MAHER: They have the ability, I don’t…do they have the will? I mean, you mentioned the Police Department. Police love his dirty draws. You really think they’re going to pull him out of the White House?
HOLDER: Yeah, I mean, I think…you know, it’s…it’s interesting because I think people in law enforcement positions, people with the power to do those kinds of things will really, as I always say, they’ll check to the power, and the power will move on the inauguration day. And my guess would be that all of the people, all of the organizations that have that capacity will do the right thing, the constitutional thing and listen to the orders of the…of the new president and understand that there has been again, the peaceful transition of power, regardless of what it is that…that Trump might want to do.
MAHER: Okay. You mentioned that we already know the outcome and that’s true, it’s Joe Biden; who you’re very familiar with; served in the same administration of course. A couple of months ago, an allegation was made against him, a sexual allegation from someone named Tara Reade…I thought it was the chick in Sharknado but it’s a completely different one. And I…I don’t…at first, I thought it was ridiculous; that it would go away and no one would pay any attention to it, but it’s being paid attention to. I…I, I wonder if you would share your thoughts on that and what he should do and the appropriateness…the appropriateness at this moment when we’re in…in such a crisis in America of having this injected into a campaign at all.
HOLDER: Well, I mean, it’s interesting that the people who are trying to fan this thing are…are the very people who support Donald Trump and, of course, who say nothing about the allegations that have been raised, I think very credibly, against…against Trump for a number of women over a, you know, a great, a long period of time. I mean, all of these allegations have to be taken seriously. People who raise them should be treated sensitively. I’ve known Joe Biden for, you know, 20, 25 years, what has been described is inconsistent with the person who I’ve come to know and who I’ve worked with. You know, I…I think media’s doing the correct job looking at the allegations, finding out a variety of things, I…the Vice President has denied that it actually did occur and as I said, his denial is consistent with the Joe Biden that…that I know.
MAHER: Well, I vote that you should next time so…There’s that vote. I know I’m not in the house but, okay, thank you for joining us.
HOLDER: I’ll come live with you. I’ll come live with you.