Bill Maher to CPAC head: 'Basically, Fox News is running our government'

HBO host Bill Maher confronted the head of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday about Fox News’s coverage of President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE, saying, “Basically, Fox News is running our government.”

Maher applauded conservative Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, which hosts CPAC, for stepping into “the lion’s den” by appearing on his show “Real Time.”

Maher brought up a recent investigation by Jane Mayer published in The New Yorker, which alleged that Fox News killed a report about Trump’s alleged affair with adult-film star Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 presidential election.


The report also alleged that Trump received potential questions he would face in a 2016 primary debate from then-network head Roger Ailes.

“[Jane Mayer] is saying that, basically, Fox News is running our government, which I think we know because Trump watches 'Fox & Friends' in the morning and then tweets very often as he’s watching it,” Maher said. “Sometimes he doesn’t even refer to what he is tweeting. You just have to know that’s what he's watching.”

“This is unprecedented, too, the fact that Sean Hannity does a show every night praising Trump, and then after the show Sean Hannity and Trump talk,” Maher continued. “Now, if Obama was talking to [MSNBC host] Rachel Maddow every night, what do you think?”

Schlapp then questioned whether Obama talked to Maddow every night.

“He didn’t. I promise you he didn’t,” Maher said, before pulling out a fake book called “If Obama Did It.”

Maher listed several controversies that have embroiled Trump's campaign and administration, including having his former lawyer Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenBarr to testify in House oversight hearing next month Stone received 'favorable treatment' because of relationship with Trump, former prosecutor will testify Nadler to subpoena AG Barr over Berman firing MORE and his former campaign chairman Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump turns to immigration; primary day delays expected GOP votes to give Graham broad subpoena power in Obama-era probe Will the 'law and order' president pardon Roger Stone? MORE go to jail.

“He told people across this country that he was going to do five or six big things. ... For a politician who is actually keeping the big promises he has made, which you really can’t deny,” Schlapp said.

He pointed to Trump’s campaign promises of moving the American Embassy in Israel and pulling out of the Iran Nuclear Deal.

“I understand a lot of you didn’t like the fact of what he was saying on the campaign trail, but you can’t deny that on these big questions, he did it,” Schlapp said.

Schlapp, whose wife, Mercedes Schlapp, serves in a top communications role in the White House, acknowledged that a lot of people who oppose conservative politics oppose Trump’s decisions.

“When people in the news media have this constant refrain that he has been so dishonest as president, they have to understand for the people who supported him ... they view him as doing what he said he would do,” Schlapp said.

Updated 11:08 a.m.