Bill Maher thanks Bannon for appearing on show: 'Says volumes why Republicans are in power and we have none'

HBO host Bill Maher applauded former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon for coming on his show Friday, arguing Democrats lack political power because they are unwilling to engage with their ideological foes.

"I'm going to say to you what I say to every conservative who comes on this show: Thank you," Maher told Bannon on "Real Time with Bill Maher."

"I appreciate it and it says volumes why Republicans are in power and we have none,” Maher continued. “Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMcConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' Hillary Clinton: There must be a 'global reckoning' with disinformation Pelosi's archbishop calls for Communion to be withheld from public figures supporting abortion rights MORE never came here. Maybe she’d be president if she was a little more confident."

"Big time," Bannon responded, largely to silence from Maher's audience.


Maher went on to reference an incident earlier this month when The New Yorker disinvited Bannon from the magazine's fall festival due to outcry from liberal attendees and other event speakers.

Quoting Bannon's intended fellow speaker, Malcolm Gladwell, Maher said that such a festival without conflicting ideologies was more akin to a "dinner party."

"Call me old-fashioned, but I would have thought that the point of a festival of ideas was to expose the audience to ideas. If you only invite your friends over, it’s called a dinner party," Maher quipped.

Bannon responded by claiming that he seeks out "hostile" interviewers and news platforms for his interviews because he isn't interested in interviews with friendly figures and other conservatives.

"I like going into hostile audiences with tough interviewers. I do very little conservative media now. I do CNN, BBC, you know, The Economist, I go to the toughest places, toughest interviewers and say ‘Hey, no holds barred, hostile audiences, and let’s get it on,' " he told Maher.

"That’s why the Republicans are in power,” Maher responded, to which Bannon said “I think it does sharpen the blade.”

Bannon slammed The New Yorker's David Remnick earlier this month for disinviting him, which he called a "gutless" move in the face of a "mob."

"The reason for my acceptance was simple: I would be facing one of the most fearless journalists of his generation. In what I would call a defining moment, David Remnick showed he was gutless when confronted by the howling online mob," Bannon said earlier in September.

Bannon was forced out of the White House last year by chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, and left the helm of Breitbart News in January. He has recently set up shop in Europe, where he is seeking to build a network of far-right nationalist parties on the continent.