Fran Lebowitz has sparked outrage after saying that President Trump ‘deserves to be handed over to the Saudis’ to face the same treatment as the late journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was brutally killed and dismembered.
The liberal author and Vanity Fair contributing editor, 68, made the comments on Friday’s edition of Real Time with Bill Maher as she discussed the Mueller Report and potential impeachment proceedings against the Commander-in-chief.
When asked whether she believes Trump should face impeachment, Lebowitz responded: ‘Impeachment would be just the beginning of what he deserves, not even scratching the surface of what he deserves.
She continued: ‘Whenever I think about this and what he really deserves, I think ‘We should turn him over to the Saudis!’ His buddies! The same Saudis who got rid of that reporter [Khashoggi]. Maybe they could do the same for him!’
Her comments prompted laughter and shocked gasps from members of the studio audience, before viewers quickly reacted on social media.
In October 2018, Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident and columnist for the Washington Post, was murdered inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, allegedly at the orders of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The city’s chief prosecutor said that Khashoggi had been strangled as soon as he entered the consulate building, and that his body was dismembered and disposed of.
Trump himself has been reluctant to declare that bin Salman had knowledge about Khashoggi’s death, saying in November: ‘It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!’
Meanwhile, Lebowitz swiftly backtracked on her comments later in the program, after learning that she was receiving criticism on social media.
‘I didn’t realize that I had said it. I had 12 cups of coffee. I regret saying it. I did not mean that and I regret saying it. I regret that everyone misinterpreted it,’ she stated in the ‘Overtime’ section of Real Time.