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Author's Snark to Give Trump to the Saudis Irks Maher Viewers

Fran Lebowitz later expressed 'regret' for remarks, says 'everyone misinterpreted' things
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2019 8:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – A guest on Bill Maher's HBO show this week has walked back remarks she made about President Trump that tied to a murdered journalist. Deadline and Fox News report 68-year-old author Fran Lebowitz sat on Maher's stage Friday and took part in a discussion about Trump's time in office, her "shock" at recent behavior by Attorney General Bill Barr, and the possibility of Trump's impeachment—which appeared to not be enough of a punishment for Lebowitz, who said that wouldn't even be "scratching the surface of what he deserves." What she mused on instead: "We should turn him over to the Saudis, you know, his buddies. The same Saudis who got rid of that reporter, you know. Maybe they can do the same for him.'" The reporter she was referring to was apparently Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist who was assassinated inside the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul.

There was so much immediate backlash on Twitter to her comments that producers alerted Maher to it, and Lebowitz tamped it all down in the online "Overtime" segment after the show. "I didn't even realize that I said it," she noted. "I had 12 cups of coffee." Maher added that even though he also dislikes Trump, "no matter who the president is, we do not want physical harm." Lebowitz's response: "I did not mean that and I regret saying it. I regret that everyone misinterpreted it because they misinterpret everything." Trump wasn't the only presidential contender who got caught in Lebowitz's crosshairs. Per Raw Story, she also mocked 76-year-old Joe Biden and 77-year-old Bernie Sanders, insisting, "They're both way too old to be president. ... These guys are too old to drive." (Read more Fran Lebowitz stories.)

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