Real Time host Bill Maher suggested on Friday that Charleston terrorism suspect Dylann Roof was a fan of conservative media outlets.
“We can never know why somebody snaps — but I bet you I know where he got his news,” Maher told senior Daily Caller contributor Matt Lewis. “I looked at your website the last week. It was a lot of stories about black people. A lot of stories. Same with Matt Drudge. I think they present a twisted view. I’m not surprised this guy thought, ‘They’re taking over the country.'”
Lewis pushed back by bringing up Maher’s film Religulous.
“You did a documentary that was anti-religion,” he said. “This guy goes into a church and shoots up a church. I would not accuse you of inspiring people to act violently because of your anti-religious rhetoric. That would be wrong of me to do.”
MSNBC contributor Joy Ann Reid immediately called Lewis’ argument a “non sequitur,” arguing that religion was not the point of Roof’s attack against the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, pointing out its storied history.
“He didn’t go to a bowling alley,” Lewis protested. “He didn’t go to a rock concert.”
Rep. Luis Gonzalez (D-IL) compared a statement attributed to Roof — that he committed the attack because he was angry that black men were “raping” white women — to the Tea Party’s anger against President Barack Obama.
“There was this fear that somebody took away their country,” Gutierrez said, adding, “Donald Trump and that young man had one thing in common one week: Donald Trump said that Mexicans come to this country not to work, but to rape women, and he repeated it,” Gutierrez argued. “There is a correlation between what you say and what people do.”
Lewis again tried to argue for religion as a motivation for Roof, only to be cut off by Maher and Reid.
“If you look even at the three flags that this young man adhered to, the Confederate flag emblem on his car, the Rhodesian flag and the South African flag from Apartheid[-era] South Africa, all three of those purported to be Christian governments,” Reid said. “The white Christian government in South Africa, which ruled over the majority-black population; in Rhodesia, the violent white government that ruled over that population considered themselves quite Christian. [Roof] could’ve been completely embraced in what those governments stood for.”
Watch the discussion, as posted online on Friday, below.
WATCH: Trump lawyer Pam Bondi brushes off her meeting with Lev Parnas during NBC grilling
During an interview with NBC News' "Today" on Saturday, Pam Bondi, the former attorney general of Florida and one of the lawyers representing President Donald Trump in impeachment matters, dismissed the photograph released by House Democrats that shows her with indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.
"Clearly, Lev Parnas liked to take pictures with a lot of people," said Bondi unconcernedly. "He showed up at events pretty much everywhere where Republicans were."
Asked about Trump's relationship with Parnas, she added, "I don't know what that matters, what they're planning on doing with it. We're going to stick to the facts and stick to the law in this case."
Lev Parnas ran to Maddow over fear Justice Department officials would bury Bill Barr allegations: ex-prosecutor
Appearing on MSNBC's "AM Joy," a former prosecutor speculated that indicted Lev Parnas -- who has leveled a stunning amount of accusations against President Donald Trump and senior administration officials --- likely agreed to speak candidly with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow because he fears for his life and felt Attorney General Bill Barr couldn't be trusted.
Addressing the interview that drew record viewership for Maddow's evening show, former prosecutor and current MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said Parnas likely had good reason to worry about how his own case is going.
"I'm quite sure SDNY prosecutors have sat down and gotten all this information. some of the information we now know they must have gotten was what Lev Parnas told Rachel," Kirschner explained. "Bill Barr is in on the dirty Ukranian deal."
MSNBC panel bursts out laughing after watching clip of Alan Dershowitz explaining his Trump defense strategy
On MSNBC Saturday, a panel of legal experts tore into former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz's argument that abuse of power is not an impeachable offense, which anchor Joy Reid played for them in a clip.
"You cannot make any sense out of it. It is an absurd comment," said former federal prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks, to laughter around the table. "It is the standard by which we have impeached in the past. If you listen to the witnesses at the House, three out of four said that is an impeachable offense. The articles against Richard Nixon included abuse of power. It is clearly what was intended by our framers. It's what the Federalist Papers say, and it's the thing that makes sense. Other high crimes and misdemeanors are exactly that. It isn't under the federal statutes that they were talking about. Bribery isn't under the federal statute because there was no federal bribery crime when the Constitution was passed. It was whatever people thought it was."