'Why do you think they let Hinckley out?'

By James Hibberd
Updated September 12, 2016 at 05:19 PM EDT
Angelo Merendino/Getty Images

Bill Maher just went there. HBO’s Real Time host spoke at the the DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C on Saturday, and made a joke that seemed to hint somebody should assassinate Donald Trump.

“I’m nervous with this election,” he said in audio recorded at the event. “I saw the headline today: ‘Race tightening, Trump ahead in Ohio and Florida.’ If this race is even the week before the election, somebody is going to have to go out there …” Maher pauses and a woman in the crowd can be heard warning, “Don’t say it…” Then Maher delivers the punchline: “Why do you think they let Hinckley out?” The joke was met by plenty of laughter and applause.

John Hinkley Jr. was released from a mental hospital Saturday after years of incarceration for attempting to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

Maher’s comment recalls when Trump got in hot water in August, after he seemed to half-joke about how somebody should assassinate Hillary Clinton were she to win the election. “If she gets to pick her judges — nothing you can do, folks,” he said at a rally. “Although, the Second Amendment people. Maybe there is. I don’t know.”