Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange joined Bill Maher on his HBO show Real Time, via Internet video, and the two had quite an interesting exchange over a few of the key issues that Assange has been in the news about lately. There was more or less a specific exchange that took place that put the two at comical odds, but it was quite interesting to see how it went down.
It all started when Bill Maher introduced Julian Assange to his audience and brought him into the show with a special interview between the two following the Wikileaks release of the hacked DNC emails that led to the resignation of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. But it did not look like Maher was too impressed with the incident, according to Deadline.
“Obviously we know these came from Russia and we also know that you don’t like Hillary Clinton, as does not Vladimir Putin,” Bill Maher said to Julian Assange. “So it looks like you are working with a bad actor to put your thumb on the scale and basically f**k with the one person who stands in the way of us being ruled by Donald Trump.”
That of course got quite a bit of applause from Bill Maher’s typically left-leaning audience, and Julian Assange did not quite have a good answer for him. So instead of allowing the question to continue, Assange steered it away to a donation that Maher made in 2012 to Obama and wanted to know if the same would go to Hillary.
“Just before I came in here, we thought we’d do a little search in our files and I do notice that a William Maher gave a Clinton-affiliated entity $1 million,” Julian Assange said to Bill Maher in response. “Now, it’s a William Maher that’s in L.A. where the money came from. Perhaps you’d like to comment – is that you?”
It is unclear if Julian Assange realized that Bill Maher made it a publicly known fact that he gave this money to Obama, but just to make sure that he did know, Maher filled him in on that.
“I don’t think you have to look in your files to find that, Julian. I gave Obama a million dollars. I made it public,” Bill Maher responded. “The whole point of it was to make it public so people in 2012 would understand that the game had moved to the million dollar level after our Citizens United ruling. I wasn’t trying to hide it, I was trying to publicize it. I don’t know what [your] point is.”
Wikileaks’ Julian Assange Questions Bill Maher On Hillary Donations; Gotcha Fails https://t.co/cx1zSjBfVK pic.twitter.com/KYR4zSANqF
— Deadline Hollywood (@Deadline) August 6, 2016
Julian Assange clarified that he wondered if there would be another million dollar donation to the next Democratic nominee for president, but Maher was quick to shut that down as well with some commentary that you would never see on a basic broadcast network.
“F**k no. I can’t give a million dollars anytime somebody runs for president.”
Maher and Assange seemed to get all of their sparring out of them after that and they quickly segued over to Donald Trump, which the hot button topic seemed to be that he hasn’t released his tax returns yet. Maher wanted to now if Assange and his Wikileaks website would be hacking Donald Trump anytime soon to release his tax returns, which most of the voting public might be anxious to see.
— Bipartisan Report (@Bipartisanism) August 6, 2016
During the interview, Assange said that they were “working on it.” But Assange later tweeted that it was supposed to be a joke. The audience laughed at it and the response did indeed come at a moment that was ripe for some comedy relief.
WikiLeaks isn’t ‘working on’ hacking Trump’s tax-returns. Claim is a joke from a comedy show. We are ‘working on’ encouraging whistleblowers
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 6, 2016
In the end, Bill Maher ended up saying that Julian Assange did indeed deserve to win the Nobel Prize, which seemed to clarify that the two men were more in sync than most may have suspected.
[Image via HBO]