Bill Maher now admits that the Russiagate story that he helped promulgate while Donald Trump was president had elements that were "reported erroneously." The liberal TV talk show host made the admission on the latest episode of "Real Time with Bill Maher."
There were hundreds of media outlets and some Democratic politicians that pushed conspiracy theories claiming Trump was colluding with the Russian government, including stories that the former U.S. president was a "handmaid" to Russian President Vladimir Putin because he was blackmailed by kompromat. Veteran journalist Brit Hume went so far as to say the mainstream media's coverage of the Russia investigation is the "worst journalistic fiasco" he has ever witnessed.
The Russian collusion story came crashing down when Robert Mueller's nearly two-year "investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."
On Friday night, Maher made a confession that the Russian collusion story wasn't all that the media made it out to be. During a panel discussion about the federal agent raid of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's Manhattan apartment that took place this week, Maher asked his guests, "Is it political payback, is this politics or is it because what Giuliani and Trump did was unprecedented?"
Liberal author and historian Thomas Frank noted that the Giuliani raid wasn't "unprecedented," citing the Nixon administration and how "a lot of those guys went to jail."
Maher then asked, "But did they involve themselves with other countries?" He then followed up by saying, "I feel like, yes, we play dirty politics, but we always had one rule: no ringers, keep it in the family, do what you do, but don't bring in the guy from Russia."
"Look, a lot of this stuff we found out or we're finding out was reported erroneously," Maher said in reference to Russiagate, Fox News reported.
Maher presented his theory that Trump was "both an idiot and crazy." Maher brought up Trump's quote from the 2016 campaign trail, "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you can find the 33,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press."
"We, like, thought that it had to be more of a conspiracy. It may turn out that most of it really was just what he did in public," Maher said. "When I look back, I'm like 'Wow, we lived through this?'"
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