George Will says Trump doesn’t inspire ‘cult’ in GOP: ‘This is fear’

Conservative commentator George Will ripped the Republican Party during an appearance on "Real Time with Bill Maher" on Friday, accusing the party of subservience to the president.

In an interview with Maher, Will hit back at claims from Tennessee Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump and Congress at odds over Russia Senate GOP attempts to wave Trump off second Putin summit Senate approves resolution warning Trump not to hand over US officials MORE (R), a top critic of the president in the party, who said this week that the GOP was becoming "cult-like" in its reverence for Trump.


"We are in a strange place. I mean, it’s almost, it’s becoming a cultish thing, isn’t it? And it’s not a good place for any party to end up with a cult-like situation as it relates to a president that happens to be of — purportedly, of the same party," Corker told reporters.

Will disagreed, arguing that cult members believe in their leader's actions, while modern-day Republicans, he says, act out of fear.

“It’s not a cult. A cult implies misguided if sincere worship. This is fear,” Will said. “They’re not worshipful, they are invertebrates. They are frightened.”

Maher disagreed and pointed to Trump's approval rating among Republican voters, which remains high nationally amid dropping numbers among other demographics.

"Well it's a cult of personality for his supporters, and his supporters are nothing if not vengeful," Will added.

But the conservative columnist disagreed with Maher's notion that the rise of a political figure such as Trump could only occur in the Republican Party, arguing that Democrats were equally susceptible.

“Let me give Democrats a warning,” he told Maher. “In the summer of 2015, you had 18 Republican candidates on stage and the most lurid stood out. In the summer of 2018, there will be 18 Democrats on stage and maybe the most lurid will stand out there."

"The idea that only the Republican Party or only the right can produce something like Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpWSJ: Trump ignored advice to confront Putin over indictments Trump hotel charging Sean Spicer ,000 as book party venue Bernie Sanders: Trump 'so tough' on child separations but not on Putin MORE is naive and cheerful," he added.

Will is a frequent and outspoken critic of the Trump administration from the right, and in December declared that Trump had become the worst president in U.S. history.

"By joining Stephen K. Bannon’s buffoonery on [Roy] Moore’s behalf, the 45th president planted an exclamation point punctuating a year of hitherto unplumbed presidential depths," he wrote, referring to Trump and Bannon's support for former Alabama Senate candidate Roy MooreRoy Stewart MooreRoby wins Alabama GOP runoff, overcoming blowback from Trump criticism Once a Trump critic, Ala. rep faces runoff with his support Doug Jones walks tightrope on Supreme Court nominee MORE (R).

"He completed his remarkably swift — it has taken less than 11 months — rescue of the 17th, Andrew Johnson, from the ignominy of ranking as the nation’s worst president."