Comedian Bill Maher called President Trump a “master manipulator” in the wake of his commutation of first-time drug offender Alice Johnson, suggesting that “grateful black folks” like Johnson could cause Trump to rise in the polls.
Maher asked Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson if “policy even matters” to Americans of all colors, then listed issues like Johnson’s commutation and the potential legalization of marijuana as issues upon which the president could gain traction.
“People are gonna watch TV and see grateful black folks, ‘Thank you, President.’” Maher said. “This anecdotal way. I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes up in the polls. I mean, he’s a master manipulator.” (RELATED: Alice Johnson Thanks Trump After First Night Of Freedom: ‘Going To Make You So Proud’)
Dyson downplayed the specific instances, speaking instead to the overall “structure” that produces “corruption and inequality.”
“We live in a country where not everyone is a professor,” responded Maher. “So everything you just said was, ‘What?’ He let this beautiful black lady go. Well, Obama didn’t do that. She was in jail the whole time.”
“There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit that he’s just wily enough to make you popular,” Maher continued. “Legalizing pot, he could do that tomorrow. He’d do that just to piss off Jeff Sessions and he’d get a lot, black and white- I’d be his biggest fan… for a day.” (RELATED: Bill Maher Blasts Fox News’ Influence On Trump)