In a bit of fortuitous timing, Bill Maher invited ex-Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway as a guest on this week’s “Real Time” — apparently having locked down her appearance weeks ago.
But the episode came just a day after the first night of the Jan. 6 commission’s congressional hearings, making Conway’s appearance extremely timely. She was, after all, one of Trump’s biggest advisers and supporters. So understandably, that topic was front and center as Maher, Conway and other panelist Josh Barro started chatting.
Throughout their discussion, Maher repeatedly tried to get Conway to stop defending Trump and say that maybe he shouldn’t be president again.
Thing is though, Conway has spent the last 6 years defending Trump. She’s good at that job. So obviously, Maher’s attempts to get her to turn on her old boss failed repeatedly. But at least the whole spectacle illustrated the folly of trying to have a good faith debate where no good faith actually exists.
You can see how this played out in a short clip from the discussion, which we’ve embedded above. If you can’t watch, you can read on for some frustrating highlights.
For example, at the start of the clip, Conway (smugly) asks, “why is every day Jan. 6,” pretending not to understand people’s alarm at what investigators have described as an attempted coup.
Maher explained that, “because, on that day, apparently, he asked for his Vice President to be murdered. Now, how do you spin that?”
Conway then demonstrated very ably how someone of her considerable skill and competency can spin that. “That’s, those are reports I’ve seen that people are saying that. And if people were threatening the life of the Vice President, I’m sure there are great federal laws against that. Let’s use them,” she said with an unmistakable smirk.
Barro pointed out the speech Trump gave just prior to the Jan. 6 riot, “where he said all those awful things about Mike Pence and urged that raucous crowd to go and-“
“To go and hang him? Did he, what did he say, he said ‘fight like hell,’” Conway replied.
Barro pointed out that “it was entirely foreseeable” how the crowd of Trump supporters would interpret Trump’s words. But Conway dismissed that as “Fight like hell? What every college football coach says to the guys that are taking the field?”
Later, Maher asked that in light of Trump’s behavior both on Jan. 6 and in other instances, like when he tried to convince the Georgia Secretary of State to “find” more votes for him, “should he be able to run for president again?”
“Hold on, that’s what this is all about. At least you admit it, at least you said the quiet part out loud, that these investigations are about preventing him from ever running again,” Conway replied. “They should just admit that. They should say ‘We have absolutely no man with a plan in the White House, we’re paying 5 dollars a gallon for gas…”
When Maher tried to get the conversation back on track, Conway deflected saying “you’re always talking about Donald Trump. He hasn’t been president in a year and a half.”
And so on, and so on. Long story short, for a considerable portion of the show, Maher attempted to get Conway to budge, and of course she wouldn’t. Predictable? Yes. Frustrating to watch? That depends on whether or not you agree with Conway. Either way, watch a sample of that above now.