“Forget Groundhog Day. The only large, rat-like creature I’m concerned about is Devin Nunes,” cracked Bill Maher at the top of his Real Time monologue on Friday. “Of course, it’s not fair to single him out. All the Republicans these days are treasonous rats.”
Before the comedian and his #NeverTrump panel embarrassed guest Anthony Scaramucci, Maher delivered a fiery monologue wherein he got so worked up over the House Republicans’ protocol-breaching release of the Nunes memo, done with President Trump’s blessing—who he referred to as “fat Nixon”—that he had to pause for a breather.
“Trump declassified this Nunes memo, which is supposed to make us think that our own top law enforcement people are crooked so Trump can get away with his Russia crimes. Problem is, Republicans talk about this memo as if it’s some smoking-gun piece of evidence they uncovered. No! They wrote it! They uncovered it in their printer! It’s not an intelligence document, it’s a Facebook post that you briefly skim before clicking ‘unfriend,’” joked Maher.
The Nunes memo, for the uninitiated, is a four-page document filled with cherrypicked information from House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and the other Republican congressmen on the committee that, according to CNN, “alleges FBI and Justice Department abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, accusing the FBI of improperly using information paid for in part by Hillary Clinton's campaign [the Steele dossier] to obtain a FISA warrant for Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.” The release of the memo was strongly opposed by both the FBI and Justice Department.
“They did not like what the FBI was finding out about Trump, so like the true patriots they are—of Russia—they attack the FBI and the Justice Department because they’re ‘biased,’” Maher said of House Republicans. “Yes, because they’re in law enforcement and the Trump crime family commits crimes, so that’s what they’re supposed to do! It’s like saying the exterminator is biased against the termites.”
Of course, in addition to getting basic public information wrong, the Nunes memo appears to be a big ol’ nothingburger. It clearly states that it was George Papadopoulos, an ex-member of Trump’s foreign policy advisory panel during the campaign, who initially triggered the FBI’s investigation into Trump-Russia ties—not the Steele dossier or ex-Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page—and that the FBI didn’t submit a FISA application to monitor Page until October 2016, or after he’d left the Trump campaign.
“This Republican delusion that [special counsel] Robert Mueller, a Republican who’s there because of Trump, is conspiring with Rod Rosenstein, the acting attorney general, a Republican who’s there because of Trump, and of course Mueller’s old buddy, Jim Comey, another Republican appointed by Trump, and Trump’s attitude is, ‘Jeez, what a bunch of idiots. Who put them in charge?’” explained Maher, clearly beside himself.
Doesn’t quite add up, does it?