Minnesota’s U.S. Senator Al Franken appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher recently, and what he revealed about his Republican colleagues’ private opinions of the new president is worrisome and disturbing.
Maher, after joking that Franken did things that “none of the rest of us” would do in having lunch with Republican Senators, asked the comic turned politician to “give us a little insight into what’s happening behind the scenes.”
What he said about Republican Senators’ privately stewing dissent with the Trump administration is deeply troubling. If the president has lost some of the most ardent ideologues of his own political party, then how desperately off track must he really be?
‘Well, there’s a range with what [Republican Senators] will say. And some will say that [Trump] is not right, mentally, and then some are harsher. There are some who, I guess, won’t talk to me. I haven’t heard a lot of good things, and I’ve heard some great concern about the president’s temperament.’
Maher went on to ask Franken about his take on the recently released poll of Trump voters that revealed that some 51 percent of them believe that the president should have the power to personally overturn decisions of the judiciary. Franken replied by noting both what a small percentage of the overall population is actually “Trump voters,” and morbidly joking that well, at least 49 percent of Trump voters understand basic civics.
Maher replied to that by saying that he could see that living in D.C. had made Franken an optimist.
Maher and Franken went on to discuss a number of other topics, including Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. At that point, Franken commented morbidly, “[Republicans] have the majority, and we can’t stop them from having hearings, so we’re going to have hearings.” (Gorsuch is set to be confirmed to the High Court on Friday.)
Maher also asked Franken of the possibility of impeaching Trump, to which the Senator replied, jokingly, “Well let me remind you again that the Republicans are in the majority, so I think [impeachment hearings are] months and months away.”
He went on to get a little more serious, stating, “I’m incredibly encouraged… this week has been incredibly encouraging. The energy around the country — we’re seeing red districts.. where hundreds of people are showing up at the town halls. There’s a tremendous amount of energy and I want to encourage people to keep that up.”
Watch the full Maher segment featuring Franken below.