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Laura Coates Live

Is Trump Above The Law?; Laura Coates Interviews Jill Stein; CNN Presents "Overtime With Bill Maher"; Advertisers Are Leaving Musk's "X"; Laura Coates Reviews The Upside-Down Week That Was. Aired 11p-12a ET

Aired November 17, 2023 - 23:00   ET



LAURA COATES, CNN HOST AND SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: And she was trying to get through that, and had a very extensive complaint against this person but there were no criminal charges that had been filed.


COATES: So, people had -- they ran the gamut. But the fact this has happened now, the day after -- after his counsel has already said that she was in it for a payday prior to this, that he had been for the past six months threatened with some sort of action like this, she withdrew a threat and then came back with this lawsuit, there are going to be a lot of questions now about what's in the actual settlement and whether it's a complete and total muzzle for her now, which it likely will be any time you settle a case like this.

PHILLIP: Yeah, huge question about that. And look, just as a reminder, I mean, Diddy is wealthy, extremely powerful still to this day, after 30 years in this industry. Something like this, I think, probably has already done some damage, but I think they were clearly concerned that it could do more if it were to continue.

Laura, I know you've got a lot to get to in your show. Have a good one.

COATES: Have a good one. And happy early birthday, Abby Phillip, everyone.

PHILLIP: Thank you.


COATES: She'll be 25. Okay. Here you go.

A surprise ruling and a big victory for Donald Trump. But what happens now? Tonight, on LAURA COATES LIVE.

Remember that phrase, no one is above the law? How about this one? How does it go again? Let me get it right. If the president does it, it's not illegal. Starting to come back to you now, isn't it? Well, today, there's a new one for the history books. A Colorado judge finding that Donald Trump incited really an insurrection or intentionally engaged in behavior and -- quote -- "therefore, engaged in insurrection within the meaning of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment," saying he "acted with specific intent to disrupt the electoral college certification of President Biden's electoral victory through unlawful means, specifically by using unlawful force and violence." Something that, well, we were watching the day it happened, January 6th.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We fight. We fight like hell. And if you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore.


COATES: The judge saying Trump did -- quote -- "everything in his power to fuel anger before January 6th." And if, by the way, he was anybody else, he would have been disqualified from office. But because he was the president, that law does not apply. The judge saying the 14th Amendment's insurrectionist ban does not actually apply to presidents because the oath the president takes is not the same as the oath for officers of the United States.

That sounds a lot like someone is above something, doesn't it? Almost exactly like since the president did it, it's not illegal. I mean, talk about whiplash. And if you're confused, you're not the only one around these parts. Up till now, we'd heard primarily, I think, two arguments in this case, not unlike what we heard in places like Michigan and Minnesota, who already decided to keep Trump on the ballot.

One of the arguments was that it should be up to the voters, not any court, to tell you who was on the ballot. The other argument, since Trump had never been charged with insurrection and there had been no legal conclusion that he actually engaged in it, there's no reason to take him off the ballot because of, of course, due process and that presumption of innocence that we all hold very dearly.

Well, today, it didn't seem to come down to the voter's argument, and the judge did say that he didn't cite something. Instead, it came down to what's called a technicality, if you will. If the founding fathers meant for the president to be removed by this mechanism, then they would have clearly stated that. It's that they mentioned officers of the United States.

I want to dig in more here, though, because the Section 3 actually says this: Who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state. They didn't say the president. You see that? It's almost as if, and this is something I've heard a lot recently, there's a two-tiered system of justice.

I want to get right to Noah Bookbinder. He's executive director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the acronym known as CREW. The organization also was involved in this very case in Colorado. Noah, thank you for being here today. NOAH BOOKBINDER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY AND ETHICS IN WASHINGTON: Thanks for having me.

COATES: A lot of you have been following this for a long time. We knew about Minnesota and Michigan. But Colorado was different because they had an actual trial on the merits about the underlying facts of an insurrection. Are you surprised by tonight's decision that he is going to still be on the ballot, according to why the judge said so?


BOOKBINDER: Well, I mean, I think the most significant thing in this ruling tonight is this ruling that Donald Trump did incite an insurrection by a judge who heard days of testimony, thousands of pages of evidence that was submitted. That's, I think, the most significant thing.

This ruling about, uh, the president not being an officer of the United States, uh, we obviously disagree with that ruling. Our plaintiffs are going to appeal that. That is a legal -- strictly legal ruling that the Colorado Supreme Court is going to have its own chance to evaluate.

But the thing that was unique in this proceeding that already happened was that evidentiary hearing with days of testimony, with reams of evidence, and the judge looked at that and found that Donald Trump incited insurrection within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. I think that's the most significant takeaway.

COATES: Given that takeaway, you think you will appeal.


COATES: You've got a pretty thin window though because, of course, ballots have actually printed. I think it's January 5th. I think it's the date in Colorado. So, the window is very small when you can appeal, have that essentially be resolved, and then the ballot still printed. Is there enough time to get that argument made and maybe resolved?

BOOKBINDER: There absolutely is enough time, and there is -- there is a legal procedure in place in Colorado to resolve these questions quickly, understanding that ballots need to be printed. So, it goes -- it skips intermediate appeal. It goes directly up to the Colorado Supreme Court.

In other cases where people have been challenged as disqualified on ballots, not presidents usually, but the Colorado Supreme Court has taken them up very quickly. We expect that to happen here. So, we're going to move quickly. I think we've had a lot, uh, to be very encouraged at in what, uh, came out of the ruling today.

COATES: The fact that, and I know you pointed out the idea of, you know, obviously, in appellate court, their job is not to relitigate the facts. The job is to think about the legal arguments being made. They disagree in some way in the conclusion. The judge seems to have teed up in a way by having a very narrow ruling, it's a long opinion, by the way, but a narrow ruling to suggest it's because he was the president and the language of Section 3 does not contemplate a president.

Do you think that the Colorado Supreme Court on appeal or maybe even the Supreme Court of the United States or other courts that might look at these issues over time are going to buy that, that it is narrow enough to exclude, to keep him on the ballot?

BOOKBINDER: You know, I think it has been instructive that really top legal scholars across the political spectrum tonight, Judge J. Michael Luttig, you know, sort of famed conservative judge, came out very strongly.

COATES: He was the one in the -- part of the impeachment hearing that talked about --


COATES: -- and wrote the different things, and came out in the hearing, yes.

BOOKBINDER: Exactly. He came out today and said that while he agreed with the factual parts of the judge's decision, he feels very strongly that the president is an officer of the United States and that part of the judge's decision was incorrectly ruled. Leading conservative law professors, professors Baude and Paulsen, who have studied this in great depth, reached the same conclusion.

So, we think that there's a lot of weight of opinion on the other side of this one and a real shot to see that go the other way, particularly given that ruling supported in so much fact that Donald Trump did incite an insurrection.

COATES: So, based on that, I mean, this is Colorado. There has already been some litigation in places like Minnesota and Michigan. They did not have a trial. Procedural issues kept them from resolving it fully. But are you going to bring litigation to other states? Because there are 50 of them.

BOOKBINDER: Well, the first thing that we're focused on doing is getting a win in Colorado. That's going to be the next step. We think we got a large part of the way there today with, you know, 102-page opinion, many, many pages really, you know, zeroing in on why Donald Trump did incite insurrection, why things like the First Amendment don't get him out of that.

We're going to be very focused on getting to that next point of having him excluded from the ballot in Colorado, and then, you know, we'll take it from there.

COATES: By the way, why did you choose Colorado?

BOOKBINDER: We chose Colorado because it had a statutory system in place. It had laws that said voters can go to court to challenge a candidate who is not qualified. And you can get into court quickly. And if the court finds someone not qualified, the Secretary of State has to remove them from the ballot. So, it's got that procedure. It's a fast procedure. It's a relatively early state in the presidential primary system, so you can get in there early.

And we have these fantastic Republican and unaffiliated plaintiffs who were willing to bring the case and make clear that this is not a partisan political issue. This is about people who care about the Constitution trying to protect our republic.

COATES: A method to the litigation madness. Nice to talk to you so much. Thank you, Noah Bookbinder.

BOOKBINDER: Thanks so much.


COATES: Donald Trump's attorney was on CNN tonight giving a preview of how they're going to argue, likely, on appeal. Listen to what they said.


SCOTT GESSLER, DONALD TRUMP'S ATTORNEY: We will argue to the Colorado Supreme Court a lot of the same arguments we made before, which is, you know, the textual and historical analysis of the 14th Amendment, especially considering the fact that the way our Constitution is set up, the way our republic is set up, is people get to choose who gets to be their president. We shouldn't have courts striking people from the ballot.

We're also going to, you know, fully take on the court's erroneous argument that President Trump engaged in an insurrection. We think that's just flat out wrong, certainly contrary to the evidence. It is a little bit unusual for her to spend a lot of time talking about that.


COATES: So, what exactly happens now? Will that argument work on appeal? That's the real question for so many people. I've got just the guests for that very question. Let us get right to Marcus Childress, former January 6th Committee investigative counsel, and Rebecca LeGrand, a constitutional lawyer and defense attorney.

I got to ask you, first of all, you've already heard, Marcus, and you heard, obviously, from Noah as well, the January 6th Committee report and the information that was gleaned and really shown to the country and the world was relied a lot by this judge. That was criticized by Trump's counsel because they took a lot of issue with what was presented in those hearings. Were you surprised it was relied on to say that it was?

MARCUS CHILDRESS, FORMER JANUARY 6 COMMITTEE INVESTIGATIVE COUNSEL: No, I wasn't surprised at all. Look, we trusted our process. We trusted that we went where the facts took us. And you heard arguments about bias from our committee and maybe the qualifications of our committee. But there were no assertions contrary to our actual findings of insurrection that former President Trump incited this insurrection.

And you saw the judge actually discussed that in her opinion of the reliability of our investigation, how methodical we were with that. And I think that, um, the fact -- it was a great confirmation of the work that we did here today, and I was happy to see that she -- that she confirmed it.

COATES: I mean, you almost had it confirmed -- you explicitly had a confirmed by one Senator Mitch McConnell --


COATES: -- right after all the presentation of the evidence back after impeachment. Listen to what he had to say. I mean, he was aware and confirmed it then. Listen.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): The House accused the former president of -- quote -- "incitement." That is a specific term from the criminal law. There's no question, none, that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day. We have a criminal justice system in this country. We have civil litigation. And former presidents are not immune from being accountable by either one.


COATES: And yet, Rebecca, the holding tonight was that, well, because he was the president, he is not accountable under that letter of the law.

REBECCA LEGRAND, PARTNER, LEGRAND LAW PLLC: That was the holding today. I share Marcus's view that this was a careful, detailed opinion that confirmed a lot of things that folks have been arguing about and held and addressed directly a lot of Trump supporters' arguments in a context where there was due process, where there was a chance to cross-examine witnesses, where Trump could put on witnesses and did.

So, all the due process you want, and after listening to many days of testimony, reviewing the relevant portions of the January 6th report, this judge found this was an insurrection. This was an insurrection, and Donald Trump was responsible for it. And those are powerful findings.

However, the judge also looked at the text of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which obviously was written a long time ago --

COATES: Uh-hmm.

LEGRAND: -- and is in-artfully drafted for these purposes, as we might say. So, she's struggling with this language that was designed for the Civil War, where lots of elected representatives had rebelled, and we're trying to figure out what to do with them. But the president -- Abraham Lincoln didn't. So, the people drafting that weren't thinking about what just happened here. That's what makes it a hard question.

So, the judge, I think, carefully analyzed the language. She ended up going with an argument that had been out there, that had been made. I heard it mainly by former U.S. attorney, Michael Mukasey, who made pretty much this exact argument. There are strong counterarguments as well, including --


LEGRAND: -- but that's where she landed.

COATES: Marcus, I want to ask you on that point. I mean, we're talking about the validation of having this finding, but we can't look at it in a vacuum, can we?


COATES: I mean, he's got criminal matters that are happening, including one involving January 6th --


COATES: -- right here in Washington, D.C. under Judge Chutkan, just to name one, right? The election subversion cases as well, including what's happening in Fulton County. Could what happened today in Colorado have an impact on those?

CHILDRESS: I mean, speaking of the parallel proceedings, it was pointed out in closing arguments, but former President Trump argued for removal in the New York case, the New York bank records case.


And part of that argument for removal is he's an officer of the United States.


CHILDRESS: But now, in this, he's saying --

COATES: Bingo!


CHILDRESS: -- he's not an officer of the United States. And this was brought up by Noah's team. And clearly, it wasn't persuasive for the court. But I would imagine on appeal, I would hammer that point home, because you're making contrary arguments depending on the jurisdiction.


CHILDRESS: And so, while it may not be expressly stated in the 14th Amendment, right, they're not being consistent with their -- with their arguments, at least to the court. COATES: I guess you guys say you can't have your cake and eat it, too. Well, we'll see what happens there. Thank you to both of you so much, Marcus Childress and Rebecca LeGrand.

Donald Trump is on the ballot. So, what does another candidate have to say about that? Well, I'm going to ask one. Jill Stein is here, next.


COATES: My next guest has launched an unexpected bid for the White House.


Two-time Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein is seeking the party's nomination in 2024, calling the current political system broken. She joins me for tonight's candidate interview. Jill Stein, thank you so much for being here this evening. We've got a lot to discuss tonight. I'm eager to get your opinion on so many things.

But I do want to get your reaction to this Colorado 14th Amendment ruling. The judge saying that Donald Trump -- quote -- "engaged in an insurrection, but will stay on the Colorado ballot." Do you agree with that?

JILL STEIN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, GREEN PARTY: You know, I am not a legal expert and especially not in this area. This is the third case, as I understand it, to be decided in favor of allowing the voters basically to either accept or reject Donald Trump on the ballot. That sounds reasonable to me. I tend to err on the side of allowing voters to make decisions. But again, you know, this is not my area of expertise at all.

COATES: Well, on that point, that was one of the big arguments that was raised. The question essentially came down to whose decision should it be and should one's behavior foreclose that moment. So, we'll see what happens maybe other places.

But now to your bid for the White House, because you've done this twice before, once in 2012, also 2016. You never cracked two million votes. You didn't receive a single electoral vote. Why do you think the third time will end up differently?

STEIN: Well, I think you can ask the voters why it is that they are clamoring for more choices. You know, when you don't have exposure, when you're not covered by the media, when there are all sorts of hoops, expensive hoops that you have to jump through as a grassroots campaign in order to even get on the ballot, there are all kinds of reasons why independents and third parties have a very steep uphill climb.

But, you know, the voters are clamoring for more choices. I would say, you know, who is anybody to tell the voters that they don't deserve choices? This is really fundamental to our democracy, to our rights as voters, and to the integrity of our elections, is to have those choices. COATES: You know there has been a lot of criticism about a two-party system for that very reason, frankly, and that when somebody who is not a part of -- Democrats or the Republican Party, they get a lot of criticism. They're accused of being a spoiler vote.

In fact, you yourself was accused of that as well, accused of having taken away votes from Hillary Clinton in places like Michigan and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where Trump's victory margin was smaller than your total votes.

When you hear this complaint, based on what you've just said about who has the nerve, essentially, to tell the American voters who they can and cannot have as choices, do you think the criticism has been fair about your entrance into the races?

STEIN: I think the criticism reflects a certain kind of arrogance that the establishment parties own your vote. They don't own your vote. They have to earn your vote. And, you know, the studies and the statistics are very clear that people who voted green, almost -- you know, almost two-thirds would not have come out to vote at all had there not been a green or someone with a green agenda been on the ballot. So, it's completely invalid to suggest that those votes belonged to Hillary Clinton.

And I think it reflects a kind of arrogance of the establishment parties to presume that voters owe them their votes. And I think that's part of what people are rebelling against now in clamoring for other choices. It's a record high 63% of voters now who are saying that the two-party system has failed them.

And to look at the reality of people's lives now, you know, there's a lot to that where you have 60% -- over 60% living paycheck to paycheck. One in four are food insecure. You have 40% of renters who are severely economically stressed. Half of young people are saying that they are hopeless about the future and, in fact, that they feel betrayed and abandoned by their government on really critical issues, including the climate collapse, which is accelerating towards us right now.

So, I think, you know, those are all reflections of the fact that people are really hungry for more choices and they want a real debate, which only happens when you have challengers on the ballot. I think, you know, if you look --

COATES: I hear you.

STEIN: Sorry. Go ahead.

COATES: Okay. I was going to ask you, but, you know, one of the things you did leave out, which is going to be very top of mind for many voters right now, in addition to everything you just listed, has been the Israel-Hamas war, and a lot of voters right now, particularly, leaning in.

You have been an outspoken critic of Israel's ground operation in Gaza. One need only comb through your ex-account to see that you have been very condemning of the administration and the American response and also what's going on in Israel.


Do you condemn the actions as well of Hamas on October 7th?

STEIN: I condemn all violence against civilians, yes, absolutely. At the same time, you know, I think one has to recognize that what we're seeing from the Netanyahu regime now is in a league of its own. It is really -- it is horrific to witness.

You know, you have over two million people who are denied food and water and electricity, who are being bombed relentlessly for the past month. You know, half of the housing has been destroyed in Gaza. People have had to move, to just pack up and walk to safety, and they're being bombed as they do. You're seeing the targeting of hospitals and health care centers and refugee centers and press offices as well as the press themselves. I mean, it is absolutely horrendous. We are seeing, you know, Israel now kind of being considered a pariah state.

So, it is not just that this is terrible for Palestinians. This is also terrible for Israel. We are seeing countries who have repaired their relations with Israel, including Jordan, one of the few Arab countries who've reestablished relations, who have now basically broken them off and recalled their --

COATES: I hear you. I mean, this is part of the --

STEIN: -- for Israel's sake. Go ahead.

COATES: Part of the reason I'd love to have you back on and talk about what you would do, since you're asking to be the president of the United States, what you would do differently to try to stop what is happening, Dr. Jill Stein, we'll have to have that conversation another day. Thank you so much.

STEIN: That's great. Good to be with you.

COATES: Coming up, CNN's presentation of HBO's "Overtime with Bill Maher."




COATES: Well, now, let's turn it over to our friends at HBO because every Friday after "Real Time with Bill Maher," Bill and his guests answer viewer questions about topics in the national conversation. Here is "Overtime with Bill Maher."


(APPLAUSE) BILL MAHER, HBO POLITICAL TALK SHOW HOST: All right. Hi there, CNN. We're here with award-winning media contributor to ABC News, USA Today, and The Hill, Donna Brazile, and former Illinois congressman and author of "Renegade," Adam Kinzinger. Okay, here are the questions.


That people -- any guesses on the next candidate to drop out of the Republican presidential primary?


MAHER: Yeah.

KINZINGER: I think it's DeSantis. He's collapsing. I think he's next.

MAHER: What happened there? He was doing so well as a Florida governor. He was everyone -- I advised him publicly. I said, don't run. First of all, no one is going to take it from Trump. You're 44. You could do this for the next Biden after 40 years.


KINZINGER: His problem is he was -- he was -- he was trying to be Donald Trump. His play --

MAHER: Right.

KINZINGER: -- was Donald Trump is going to fall out, you know, with the case or whatever, and he would be there to inherit that. It was a bad play because Donald Trump is not going anywhere. He has no personality. He's literally one of the most boring guys I've ever worked with.


I mean that with a straight face. Terribly boring.

DONNA BRAZILE, CONTRIBUTOR, ABC NEWS: Well, I think North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum (ph) will drop out. I think Asa Hutchison --

KINZINGER: I didn't know they were still in it.

BRAZILE: I think they did.


MAHER: They did. Well, they're not in the debate.

BRAZILE: But they're not in the debate.

MAHER: Okay. But then --

BRAZILE: And then I also believe that Chris Christie has to prove himself. And Vivek needs to just shut the hell up and go home.


KINZINGER: We all hate Vivek.

MAHER: Okay. It's Vivek.

BRAZILE: Well, whatever. Vivek --

MAHER: Whatever. Would you say that about others?

BRAZILE: Donna. I'm Donna. Vivek. Is it Vivek Ramaswama?


BRAZILE: Ramaswamy?

MAHER: Vivek Ramaswamy.

BRAZILE: Thank you so much. I learn so much when I come on this show.

MAHER: I know.


MAHER: Vivek.

BRAZILE: Vivek needs to go home.


MAHER: Look, I agree. I just feel like there's something wrong with everybody refusing to learn to say his name.

BRAZILE: Vivek. Okay, I will --

MAHER: I just feel there's a little racism there.


There's just a little.

KINZINGER: Vivek, Vivek, I'll say it.

MAHER: All right. I'm just saying it's just like -- I know we don't like him but, you know, just say his name right.

KINZINGER: You're the first one I've ever heard say that.

MAHER: I could be wrong. Maybe it's not Vivek.

KINZINGER: Yeah, maybe --


MAHER: It is -- it is -- it is Vivek because I heard him do a rap and he said it rhymes with cake.

KINZINGER: Okay. All right.


MAHER: This is what the CNN audience needs to know.


MAHER: All right. Are you surprised that the Republican chair of the House Ethics Committee is now pushing for George Santos to be expelled from Congress? Okay, there's another one of your -- did you work --

KINZINGER: Yeah. No, I'm not surprised. I mean, look, it's --

MAHER: Did you work with him, George Santos?

KINZINGER: No, thank God.


He came after me.

MAHER: He came after you.

KINZINGER: Yeah. But the -- so they're down to whatever it is, three or four vote majority now. The republican majority is doing nothing else the rest of the year. They'll have to deal with keeping the government open. Please, God, they can get Ukraine aid done. That's going to be really important, Ukraine, Israel, et cetera. But they're not going to do much else.

So, now, you're at a point where a four or a three-vote majority is pointless, and he has become a huge anchor. I think even this finally crosses a red line for them, and I think they'll vote to expel him.


BRAZILE: He's an embarrassment to the institution itself. I'm a former congressional staffer, but Bill, when I looked at that list of things he spent campaign money on, I mean, all the years I run campaign, I never thought I could just take a little drive by to Sephora or get a little --


-- get a little Botox and little lip.

KINZINGER: He's like the only -- he is the only white campaign finance scandal I've ever seen that didn't even try to launder the money through something else.

MAHER: Right.


KINZINGER: He literally just took it, put it in his bank account, and got an OnlyFans.

MAHER: Right.

BRAZILE: Yeah, what a deal. OnlyFans.


MAHER: I mean, Trump wears a lot of makeup. But I assume he really does.


MAHER: I mean, he's always under two pounds of bronzer (ph).


I assume --

BRAZILE: That's the natural glow of somebody who's already hot. He's going to hell.




MAHER: Adam, as a Republican who stood up to extremists in your party, what advice do you have for Democrats who are trying to combat the far left?

KINZINGER: Okay, listen, this is the best thing because I -- there was a guy, he was a Californian, Dana Rohrabacher, that was like the only --

MAHER: Yeah.

KINZINGER: -- pro-Russian Republican for a while.

MAHER: I remember him.

KINZINGER: And people would -- I'd take him on in the Foreign Affairs Committee and people would say, just let -- you know, he's just one person, he's probably being paid by the FSB, right, whatever. Well, that crazy ends up like overtaking the party. The crazy of, you know, nobody imagined Donald Trump in 2014.

You've got to kill extremism in the cradle or it takes over. Because if you look at your coalitions and say, we need these extremists, we need the pro-Hamas faction or we need the anti-Russia faction or the pro-Russia faction, they end up calling the shots.

Because if everybody in this room has a grenade, right, we're all equally powerful, if somebody is willing to pull the pin, they're the most powerful person in the room. And extremists are willing to pull the pin. You have got to be willing -- I don't know, pull the pin with him or whatever. You've got to be willing to fight back.

MAHER: Did you ever hear that tape of Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, and Steve Scalise talking about Rohrabacher and Trump?

KINZINGER: Yeah, yeah.

MAHER: Okay, if people don't remember this, this is -- the fact that this doesn't get more play, I don't know, I mean, this is years ago, but this is on tape. And one of them says, I think there's two people on Putin's payroll.


MAHER: One of them is Rohrabacher and one of them is Trump. And the other two don't go, oh, my God, let's do something about it. They say, this stays in the family, right?


BRAZILE: Uh-hmm.


Hell. I told you that's where you go.

MAHER: It went better in rehearsal, but still good.



No, but it is. That is kind of amazing.

BRAZILE: Yeah, yeah.


BRAZILE: But, Bill, any form of extremism must be denounced. We must condemn those who are marching, saying that what Hamas did on that horrific day was right. We should --

MAHER: Right, of course.

BRAZILE: -- immediately call for Hamas to release the hostages.


I mean --

MAHER: Well, we are. We're calling for it.

BRAZILE: No, but we have to demand that. You see people marching on --

MAHER: What do you demand? Why do you think Israel is attacking if they don't just respond to your demands? BRAZILE: I'm talking about the people who are protesting. They're protesting and they're saying, leave Hamas alone. And I might know Hamas started this.

MAHER: Of course. It's a cancer.

KINZINGER: It's eradicated.

BRAZILE: It's a cancer.

KINZINGER: So, I'm interested. They did a poll of the people who live in the area from -- they're saying from the river to the sea. In other words, Israeli Arabs.


MAHER: They don't want to live under Hamas.


MAHER: Seventy-seven percent of them said, no thanks. We're living in Israel. It is way better than living under a terrorist group.


Yeah, why don't you teach that at college? Okay, what do you think of prominent Democrats like David Axelrod calling for Biden to -- quote -- "get out or get going?" Did he say that, get out or get going?

BRAZILE: I believe in the tweet or two and some stuff. Look, people think that Joe Biden is perhaps too old there, right?

MAHER: Perhaps.


BRAZILE: Don't spill the water. Something might come out of it.


you know, everyone ages differently.

MAHER: I agree. I've said --

BRAZILE: You know. So, Betty White lived to be 99. Mick Jagger is still twisting his ass.


MAHER: I have been the one making that case year after year here against ageism. I always said it's a case by case basis.

BRAZILE: It's a case by case.

MAHER: But for that argument to have teeth, you also have to be the person who can go, yeah, but this is the case. And I've said it before, do I think Joe Biden can do the job? Absolutely.


MAHER: I don't think he can win the job. And that's what I care about. He's going to lose because the people think he's too old. And perception is reality, I'm sorry.

BRAZILE: He has been counted out so many times. I can't -- I've just lost track.

MAHER: Okay.

BRAZILE: But look how many elections since 2020 that he has won. Last week, he was counted out and Democrats won. He was counted out a year ago in the midterm.

MAHER: I understand.

BRAZILE: (INAUDIBLE) out Joe Biden, that's all I'm saying.

MAHER: Okay. But on the subject of people getting older and they have to adjust, some tragic news this week. Snoop Dogg said he's quitting pot.



I saw that.


MAHER: I know.

KINZINGER: What's the scene for America?

MAHER: I posted a black square.


But, I mean, that's -- I remember him sitting right here and telling him, this was about 10 years, 12 years ago, and I said, Snoop, I love you, and you know we're both pot brothers, but you smoke too much pot.


BRAZILE: Okay. Yeah, because he's always on Instagram smoking pot.

MAHER: Right.

BRAZILE: He doesn't even open up his Instagram until he's smoking pot.

KINZINGER: Can I tell you, the funniest thing about his statement was, I didn't know if he was serious, because at the end of it he's like, I'm giving up the smoke, and he goes, please respect my privacy in this time.


And I was like --


BRAZILE: He said that?

-- really? Yeah. I was like, they're super guys.


MAHER: Well, my prediction -- my prediction is that it'll go the way it went when my friend, Woody Harrelson -- Woody Harrelson said a number of times, he's going to give up pot, and then it was always, welcome home, son.


All right. Thank you very much. We will see you next week.



COATES: Well, you can watch "Real Time with Bill Maher" on Friday nights on HBO at 10 p.m., and then you can watch "Overtime" right here on CNN, Friday nights at 1130. We'll be right back.



COATES: Elon Musk is losing more and more advertisers on "X" after his antisemitic posts, including CNN's parent company, Warner Brothers Discovery. And this kind of antisemitism is becoming all too common, not just on social platforms, but across right-wing media. Here is Oliver Darcy with more.


OLIVER DARCY, CNN SENIOR MEDIA REPORTER (voice-over): Antisemitic rhetoric is finding a home in right-wing media. Since the onset of the Israel-Hamas war, a handful of influential talk show hosts has spread antisemitic tropes to their millions of followers.

One of the main charges? The disgraceful notion that a spike in antisemitism is merely Jewish people getting a taste of their own medicine after supposedly supporting anti-white sentiment, a reprehensible conspiracy theory that has been denounced by the Anti- Defamation League.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Any more comments?

DARCY (voice-over): Take Elon Musk, one of the world's richest men who has supported a host of right-wing conspiracy theories. Musk replied to a user online, publicly endorsing that notion, writing this week, you have said the actual truth. It's not just limited to Musk. Right-wing media figures Tucker Carlson, Candace Owens, and Charlie Kirk have also peddled this idea.

CHARLIE KIRK, RIGHT-WING COMMENTATOR: It is true that some of the largest financiers of left-wing anti-white causes have been Jewish Americans.

DARCY (voice-over): Kirk has also floated the conspiracy theory that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knew about the October 7 terror attack but chose to do nothing.

KIRK: I'm not -- I'm not willing to say to go so far that saying that Netanyahu knew or there was intelligence here, but I think some questions need to be asked. Was there a stand down order? Six hours? I don't believe it.

DARCY (voice-over): Meanwhile, Carlson and Owens have criticized Harvard donors for supposedly supporting anti-white racism, framing them as hypocrites for now being upset over antisemitism.

TUCKER CARLSON, CONSERVATIVE POLITICAL COMMENTATOR, FORMER FOX NEWS HOST: Wait a second, if the biggest donors that say Harvard have decided, well we're going to shut it down now, where were you the last 10 years when they were voting for white genocide? You were allowing this. And then I found myself really hating those people.

CANDACE OWENS, RIGHT-WING COMMENTATOR: People that are asking the question is, where were you as we have endured all of this?

CARLSON: You were paying for it, actually.

OWENS: Right.

CARLSON: You were paying for it.

OWENS: You were paying for it --

CARLSON: As you are calling my children immoral for their skin color. You paid for that. So why shouldn't I be mad at you? I don't understand.

DARCY (voice-over): Some conservatives have pushed back against the antisemitic rhetoric being spread by their peers. Ben Shapiro, co- founder of "The Daily Wire," which employs Candace Owens, ripped her earlier commentary as disgraceful during a recent speech.

BEN SHAPIRO, CO-FOUNDER, THE DAILY WIRE: The question was about Candace Owens. I think her behavior during this has been disgraceful. Without a doubt. She still works for my company. I think that she has been absolutely disgraceful. I think that her faux sophistication on these particular issues has been ridiculous.

DARCY (voice-over): Owens appeared to fire back in a response drenched in antisemitism, suggesting Shapiro had opted for wealth over virtue, quoting a Bible verse saying, you cannot serve both God and money. CNN reached out to "The Daily Wire" for comment and has not gotten a reply. The rhetoric comes as antisemitic attacks are surging across the U.S. and around the world.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the ADL, spoke out against the commentary coursing through right-wing media. Responding to Musk, Greenblatt said, at a time when antisemitism is exploding in America and surging around the world, it is indisputably dangerous to use one's influence to validate and promote antisemitic theories.

Oliver Darcy, CNN, New York.


COATES: Oliver Darcy, thank you so much. Now, from fights in Congress to the chart-topping Christmas hit by NFL stars, the upside-down week, that was next.




COATES: What a week. I mean, it all began with leaked videos related to the Georgia election case and ended with a legal victory for Trump. Now, in between, of course, we had one George Santos. At this point, the Ethics Committee report finding evidence he allegedly misused campaign funds. It may not have been so shocking if not for, well, the evidence, receipts, purchases labeled for Botox, thousands spent at the luxury store Hermes, and did I mention OnlyFans? When the whole thing is cringy, as my kids would say. But speaking of cringe, did you see this?


UNKNOWN (voice-over): Mr. President, after today, would you still refer to President Xi as a dictator, the term that you used earlier this year?

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (voice-over): Well, look, he is. I mean, he's a dictator in the sense that he is a guy who runs a country that is a communist country.


COATES: That came at a press conference after President Biden's meeting with China's president. Look, I mean, managing diplomacy, it's no easy task. We can all agree on that, right? You work through months of delicate meetings and Secretary of State Blinken's -- well, his wince becomes pretty, I guess, understandable.

Anyway, it might be hard to keep a straight face in the wild and upside-down times that we find ourselves living in these days. I mean, how could you not raise an eyebrow when fights are on the brink of breaking out in Congress? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARKWAYNE MULLIN (R-OK): If you want to run your mouth, we can be two consenting adults, we can finish it here.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Okay. That's fine. Perfect.

MULLIN: You want to do it now?

UNKNOWN (voice-over): I'd love to do it right now.

MULLIN: Well, stand your butt up then.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): You stand your butt up.

UNKNOWN (voice-over): Oh, hold on. Stop it. Is that your solution? Oh, no. Sit down.


COATES: It was the person in back who was like, oh, wait. What is happening now, it was happening then. And while the risk of getting tackled in the Senate has never seemed higher, who would have thought actual football stars would be topping music charts with a Christmas jingle?





COATES: Travis and Jason Kelce, a timeless track for the ages, perhaps. And while we're on the music train, as Bill Maher let us know, no more, well, smoke for Snoop Dogg. He's giving up apparently smoking marijuana. Yep. Although, keyword, smoking. These are the times we now live in.

So, you have to ask yourself, what is going to come next? You got to buckle up because who really knows what will happen next, and we didn't even talk about the elbow to the kidneys of a member of Congress. I'll be here to help you try and make sense of all of it. Maybe if the (INAUDIBLE) thing is anyone's guess, I guess they say TGIF, you've been through quite a week.

Thank you all for watching. Our coverage continues.