Maher Warns Trump Entering ‘Not Going Gently’ Phase of ‘Dictator Checklist’: He’s ‘Encouraging Ethnic Cleansing’


Real Time comedian Bill Maher reprised his periodic “dictator checklist” bit — but not for laughs — and ominously warned that President Donald Trump has entered a “not going gently” phase this past week when he called Republicans who dare to criticize him “human scum” and encouraged “ethnic cleansing” by publicly pushing the Kurds to abandon border regions near Turkey.

In the past, Trump’s announcement of a vainglorious military parade in Washington, D.C. and installing a “personal protector” as acting Attorney General have prompted Maher to compare the president’s conduct to that of an autocrat. But this past week, with the White House reeling from dueling crises over Trump’s widely condemned Syria foreign policy and the widening impeachment inquiry, accelerated the president’s descent into authoritarianism, Maher warned.

“This week, though, wow,” a somber, very-much-not-joking Maher said. “He added like five to the list.”

“Calling people ‘human scum,’ physically disrupting hearings — when it gets physical… — investigating the investigators, he said ‘you people and your phony Emoluments Clause’ — it’s, you know, in the Constitution…” he soberly added, to a few, scant chuckles. “I’ll get to the ethnic cleansing in a little while.”

Then, turning to his panel, Maher again suggested that Trump will fiercely resist any attempts to remove him from office.

“I feel like this is the ‘not going gently’ edition of the dictator checklist,” Maher warned. “It’s going to get uglier. You think he’s just going to let us take him out of there? No, human scum, he is not. It’s going to be ‘human scum’ and goons breaking up meetings and I don’t know what’s next.”

Maher eventually circled back to his final item on the checklist, Trump’s complicity with Turkey potentially pushing tens of thousands of America’s Kurdish allies out of the semi-autonomous state they had created in northeast Syria to fight against the ISIS caliphate.

“I just want to say this,” Maher declared, with no punchline in sight. “The United States of American, led by Donald Trump, is now part and party to ethnic cleansing.” In fact, US foreign policy has been accused of having a long and ignominious track record of turning a blind eye to, if not outright assisting, ethnic cleansing, with its current military support of Saudi Arabia’s bombing campaign in war-torn Yemen being but one alleged example.

“Donald Trump, here’s one of his tweets,” Maher said, putting up a screenshot of the president urging the Kurds to “start heading to the Oil Region!”

 “An American president is encouraging ethnic cleansing,” Maher concluded. “[President George W.] Bush, we went to torture… now we’re also on the ethnic cleansing page.”

Watch the video above, via HBO.

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