On Friday night, Real Time host Bill Maher did the expected: he defended Joe Biden.
The HBO comic, responding to multiple allegations that the former vice president made women feel uncomfortable with his groping and close contact, made light of their experiences.
“Biden is still at large. Women are being urged to walk at night in pairs—I just want to make that clear,” said Maher during his monologue. “No, he was out—did you see Joe Biden today? He finally emerged. He came very close, oh this close, to saying he was about to run. But we still don’t know that that’s true. We do know it’s true that his hands have been part of an exploratory committee for decades.”
And then, Maher defended the indefensible: “But you know, we’re getting a little nitpicky. I mean, of course no one likes to be touched unwantingly, and women get a lot more of that than men, but the first person who brought this up said he made her feel ‘gross and uneasy.’ You know what makes me feel ‘gross and uneasy?’ A second Trump term.”
After receiving heavy applause from his crowd, he continued: “He’s not Harvey Weinstein or R. Kelly—he’s more like the TSA. And it’s getting ridiculous. A woman who came forward today said she was touched by one of his speeches.”
Earlier in the day, Biden himself joked about the sexual misconduct allegations against him when, before addressing the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers—and after embracing union president Lonnie R. Stephenson—he joked, “I just want you to know, I had permission to hug Lonnie.”