Bill Maher kicked off the 500th episode of his HBO show, Real Time, Friday night with a message for Donald Trump. The comedian poked fun at the president for his handling of the military strike against Iran, which was called off at the last minute.
At the opening of Friday's episode, Maher joked that the reason his show's been on as long as it has is because the "country's f—ed up," according to The Daily Beast. Eventually, Maher turned his attention to the crisis in the Middle East, slamming Trump's approach to punishing Iran for announcing plans to return "to enriching uranium."
The show's host brought up Iran bringing down an unmanned American drone, noting that it nearly led to potentially deadly retaliation from Americans, who abruptly changed course. Maher impersonated Trump, mocking him for running his presidency like a reality show.
"Will I bomb Iran or will I call the bombers back at the last minute? We'll find out. So stay tuned!" Maher, as Trump, said.
Maher then mocked Trump for using the phrase "c—ked and loaded," noting that he got the expression wrong.
"It's not a thing," Maher said. "It's 'locked and loaded. 'C—ked and Loaded' is the name of a gay porn movie."
Trump, 73, has been facing backlash from all angles as of late. On Friday, he tweeted a remade version of an interactive TIME magazine cover, joking about being president forever. The tweet struck fear in some social media users, who suggested he was leaning in to fascism.
"This, ladies and gentlemen, is fascism," one Twitter user wrote.
"He's not joking. If the scaredy-cats in the House don't impeach this lawbreaking president, Trump Forever is exactly what we could end up with," another tweeted.
"So this is what staring into the vortex of hell looks like," a third Twitter user added.
What has been more alarming is the new sexual assault allegation against the president, which surfaced at the start of the weekend. Writer E. Jean Carroll wrote a piece for The Cut detailing sexual assaults by a number of affluent men during her lifetime. Among them, was Trump.
She alleged that the assault took place 25 years ago in a Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. She recalled running into Trump at the entrance to the store, and helping him to shop for a gift for another woman.
Trump suggested that they go look at lingerie. When they arrived on the floor that housed that specific department, it was empty. Trump suggested she try on "a lacy see-through bodysuit of lilac and gray on the counter" he spotted during their shopping. He ordered her, "Go try this on!" She declined, but he allegedly grabbed her arm and pulled her into a dressing room.
Carroll did not describe what went down inside the dressing room, but did describe him "unzipping his pants" amid some "struggle." She wrote in the report that she did not go to the police, but did tell two friends. One of the friends reportedly "begged" her to go to the authorities, even offering to go with her.
"He raped you," the friend said. "He raped you. Go to the police! I'll go with you. We'll go together."
Carroll wrote in the article that both friends still remember being told the story. Additionally, she said that Bergdorf Goodman's cameras likely picked them up at the store's entrance, and possible in the dressing room. Carroll noted, however, that depending on the position of the camera, it may be "difficult to see the man unzipping his pants, because he was wearing a topcoat."
"The struggle might have read as 'sexy,'" Carroll wrote, adding, "The speculation is moot, anyway: The department store has confirmed that it no longer has tapes from that time."
The White house addressed the allegation in a statement from a senior official, saying, "This is a completely false and unrealistic story surfacing 25 years after allegedly taking place and was created simply to make the President look bad," according to Intelligencer.0comments
Trump himself said in a statement released to the White House Press Pool that he "never met this person." Despite this claim, Carroll included in her story a photo of herself and Trump together at an event.
"She is trying to sell a new book — that should indicate her motivation. It should be sold in the fiction section," Trump said of Carroll's allegation against him. "Shame on those who make up false stories of assault to get publicity for themselves, or sell a book, or carry out a political agenda — like Julie Swetnick who falsely accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh. It's just as bad for people to believe it, particularly when there is zero evidence."
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