Bill Maher's Opening Monologue Takes AG William Barr, President Donald Trump to Task

Political commentator and comedian Bill Maher roasted Attorney General William Barr on Friday night, lambasting the nation's top prosecutor for his finding that there had been no collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russian efforts to sway the general election.

Maher opined that Barr couldn't be trusted to fairly summarize Special Counsel Robert Mueller's two-year investigation into Russian interference, citing the attorney general's status as a Trump appointee. In some of his harshest jabs of the night, The Real Time host then went on to compare the release of attorney general's summary to a "high-tech coup" and likened Trump to a dictator.

"High-tech lynching? Remember that phrase? This is like a high-tech coup," Maher opined. "I know Barr is an esteemed person…but this is what dictators do. The dictator appoints someone who exonerates him. That's what happened here...Democrats put too much faith in Republicans."

At one point, the host quipped, referring to Trump: "He may not be a Russian spy, but he is a Russian asset," laying plain several jokes he had made during his opening monologue.

"This is like trying to choose a restaurant, and the only Yelp review is from the chef," Maher said. "...Yes, the pregnancy test came back negative, but that doesn't mean you're a virgin."

Maher is hardly the only left-wing figure to be skeptical of Barr's summary, which was released last weekend.

Many pundits and politicians critical of the federal administration believed the document would link Trump's campaign to Russian efforts to influence the election, as well as show Trump officials obstructed justice during Mueller's long-running probe. Barr's conclusion that there wasn't sufficient evidence to prove either charge took the wind out of some of their arguments.

After the summary was submitted to Congress, focus immediately shifted to what parts of the special counsel report would be released publicly—and which sections would be redacted. Mueller's full report totals roughly 400 pages, not including tables and appendices.

In a Friday letter to addressed to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Barr outlined the redaction process and said Congress could receive the report as early as Mid-April. Information pertaining to grand jury material, sensitive intelligence sources and methods and ongoing investigations will be removed, along with details that could "unduly infringe on the personal privacy and reputational interests of peripheral third parties," according to the letter.

"I share your desire to ensure that Congress and the public have the opportunity to read the Special Counsel's report," Barr wrote. "Everyone will soon be able to read it on their own."

Maher's opening monologue can be watched in the video above.

Bill Maher
Bill Maher attends the Los Angeles Premiere of LBJ at ArcLight Hollywood on October 24, 2017 in Hollywood, California. On March 23, 2019, the host riffed about the conclusion of the special counsel's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Electric Entertainment
Bill Maher's Opening Monologue Takes AG William Barr, President Donald Trump to Task | U.S.