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Last Night on Late Night

Bill Maher calls Rachel Maddow's tax scoop 'a Help Trump Burger'

‘Worse than a Nothing Burger, it’s a Help Trump Burger.’

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Janet Van Ham/HBO; Charles Sykes/Getty Images

Rachel Maddow’s scoop on Trump’s tax returns sparked a media frenzy and left many disappointed over the hype after her report aired on MSNBC Tuesday night. On Friday’s Real Time, Bill Maher said it all amounted to “a Help Trump Burger.”

“Liberals have to be so careful these days. I’m a big fan of Rachel Maddow, I want her on the air, but you can be a fan of somebody and not like everything they do,” he told guest panelists Barney Frank, a former Massachusetts congressman, and author Andrew Sullivan. “And this week she hypes — which is okay — that’s what people objected to, the big hype — ‘She’s got some of Trump’s tax returns!’ like it was liberal New Year’s Eve. Did you see this? And then it turned out to be a big Nothing Burger. Worse than a Nothing Burger, it was a Help Trump Burger.”

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Maddow’s MSNBC report revealed two pages from Trump’s 2005 tax returns that showed he paid $38 million on $150 million earnings, “which is well within respectable,” Maher said. “This is probably the best tax return he’s ever filed, which makes me think this came from Donald Trump. As you said, he’s actually good at this. If we want to win, we can’t get played. This is getting played, I’m sorry.”

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Frank commented, “I didn’t like what she did. … Her journalistic scoop was, apparently, to say, ‘Oh, thank you.’ I don’t consider that crusading journalism.” Though, Maher reiterated, “All I’m saying is, let’s not weaponize Rachel Maddow.”

See the conversation in the video below.

Maddow appeared on The Tonight Show Wednesday to discuss her report, which she admitted did not hold “a damning bombshell.”

“I think the reason people were so excited is because it’s really weird that the president hasn’t released his financial information,” she told host Jimmy Fallon. “It’s really odd, and there’s reasons to worry about it.” She added, “So when we found out that we had one, it was like speaking to a group of people dying of thirst in the desert and we were like, ‘Behold, we have found a drop.’ ‘A drop? You have a drop!'”