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Bill Maher Implores CNN’s Trump-Supporting Jeffrey Lord To “Just Be Honest”

Deadline logo Deadline 3/4/2017 Greg Evans
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Update with interview videoBill Maher continued his lambasting of the media on tonight’s Real Time With Bill Maher, and this time he narrowed his impatience to one person in particular: Jeffrey Lord, CNN’s resident Donald Trump supporter.

Interviewing the ever-smiling Lord during the one-on-one top of show segment, Maher did what many a left-leaning CNN viewer has done in recent months — he lost his cool.

“Let’s not play games here, Mr Lord,” the HBO host said, getting stern after his guest deflected a question on Russian interference in the presidential election by demanding voting machine evidence. “I like you and I’ve heard you’re a nice guy, but don’t bullsh*t me.”

Lord, as any regular CNN viewer knows, combines a ready piano-key smile with the unstoppable flow of a historian’s party chatter to pivot any debate in whatever direction strikes his fancy. Maher, who started the interview by noting “Everybody says you’re the nicest guy in world,” lost his patience somewhere around Minute 8 of the chat.

Soon enough, though, Maher sighed a weary “Oh, OK, OK, alright” when Lord repeated one of his familiar CNN arguments that the release of Donald Trump’s tax returns is “irrelevant” because no president “from George Washington through Lyndon Johnson” had done so. (Cue audience laughter).

“It’s so not irrelevant,” Maher returned. “Just be honest with me, sir, just be honest and I’ll be your best friend.”

Later, on the live YouTube after-show Overtime, Lord joined the roundtable panel, where even fellow conservative Charlie Sykes turned on him. Taking a swipe at “Vichy Republicans” who have abandoned conservative values for “their Cheeto Jesus,” radio host Sykes said that includes “full-out collaborationists like you, Mr. Lord.”

Lord, as you can see in the Overtime video above, didn’t harden his demeanor even then. By the end of the segment, and shortly after Lord got one of the biggest laughs of the night by dismissing scientific consensus on climate change as “politics,” Maher offered something like a hug. “I love this guy,” he said.

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