Bill Maher Confronts Tulsi Gabbard Over Her Support for Donald Trump

Comedian Bill Maher confronted former Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii on Friday about her support for former President Donald Trump amid this year’s election.

Trump and President Joe Biden became their respective party’s presumptive 2024 presidential candidates earlier this year following a string of primary victories, likely setting up a rematch of the fiercely contested 2020 election. On Thursday, Trump and Biden participated in the first presidential debate of this year’s election cycle, which was hosted by CNN in Georgia.

Gabbard, a former congresswoman who ran for president in 2020 as a Democrat and then left the party, has since embraced support for Trump.

In a Friday appearance on HBO’s Real Time with Bill MaherGabbard was asked by Maher and guest political commentator Chris Matthews about her support for the former president as he has still not said he lost the 2020 election.

“Trump did not admit he lost the election in 2020…You have to say, ‘I lost’ because that makes the system work,” Matthews said, prompting Maher to address Gabbard stating, “That’s a good question for you.”

The former congresswoman responded: “I disagree with you. I think there are very serious issues that a lot of these swing voters who are still undecided are considering as they look at the Biden administration’s policies and the policies that will continue whether its Joe Biden or someone else replaces him. Whether its issues like border security or the insanity around the destruction of Title IX, the rejection of boy is a boy and girl is a girl, looking at safety in their communities.”

She continued: “I want to point to the most important one that came through the debate last night was when Joe Biden said, ‘The only existential threat to humanity is climate change’…The true existential threat to humanity is the fact that we are closer to nuclear holocaust now than we ever have been before.”

Maher interjected by asking Gabbard again about her support for Trump and should she support someone who can’t admit he lost the election.

Tulsi Gabbard
Former Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is seen at Fox News Channel Studios on September 13, 2023, in New York City. Comedian Bill Maher confronted Gabbard on Friday about her support for former President…

Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

“You haven’t answered and I want you to. I mean you’re a patriot. Is it a patriotic thing to back someone who will not concede elections?”

Gabbard, a member of the U.S. Armed Services who did multiple tours of duty in Iraq and Kuwait between 2004 and 2009, responded: “What you’ve heard from Trump is the same thing you’ve heard from Hillary Clinton.”

Although it’s unclear what statement from Clinton Gabbard was referring to, Clinton in a 2017 interview that aired on NPR, said she “would not” rule out questioning the legitimacy of the 2016 presidential election, in which Trump won, citing Russian interference.

An investigation, meanwhile, led by U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel Robert Mueller found that Russia attempted to help Trump win the presidency in 2016, however, Trump’s campaign team did not conspire with Moscow. Russia has denied allegations of election inference and Trump has called the Mueller report a “complete and total exoneration.”

However, Maher rebutted on Friday, “That’s over there, Tulsi,” before reading a statement on the security of the 2020 election.

Gabbard then interjected as she pointed toward the former president’s recent response during Thursday’s debate about accepting the election if it is “a free and fair” one.

Maher responded, “I just read it to you! This was a free and fair one, so he obviously doesn’t admit that he’s lost when it’s free and fair. Why would it be different this time?”

Newsweek has reached out to Gabbard via online form and Biden’s campaign via email for comment.

This comes after Trump was indicted by the DOJ on four counts in August 2023 on charges related to the U.S. Capitol riot on January 6, 2021, where thousands of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying Biden’s 2020 election victory. The riot erupted following claims from Trump that the election had been stolen from him via widespread voter fraud, despite there being no evidence to back up his claims. The former president has pleaded not guilty and said the case against him is politically motivated.

While Gabbard was a congresswoman she voted “present” on both articles of impeachment against Trump in 2019 for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. She was no longer in Congress during his second impeachment related to the riot.

Since then, Gabbard, now an independent, has not only embraced more conservative views, but last month embraced the idea of joining Trump as his running mate.

During a speech promoting her book about her estrangement from the Democratic Party, she was asked about being the prospect.

“If asked to serve in that way, I would be honored to do so,” she said.

However, Gabbard is considered a long shot for the role, as other prominent Republican candidates have also been speculated as Trump’s top choices for running mates.