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Bill Maher grills Esper for not backing Biden after calling Trump a ‘threat to democracy’: A ‘binary’ choice

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“Real Time” host Bill Maher took former Defense Secretary Mark Esper to task for refraining to back President Biden in the upcoming election after declaring former President Trump a “threat to democracy.”

Esper, one of several ex-Trump officials who have been outspoken against their former boss in the 2024 election cycle, warned that the first year of Trump’s second term will be like “the last year of the first Trump term” “with all the craziness.”

“The number one attribute that you will see anybody coming into the administration will be loyalty, and not to the Constitution but to him,” Esper said. 

He later added, “Look, I think there’s a lot to be concerned about. I said I believe he’s a threat to democracy and we should be very mindful of that.”

“So you’ll vote for Biden?” Maher asked.

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“Real Time” host Bill Maher grilled former Defense Sec. Mark Esper for not expressing support for President Biden in the upcoming election after declaring former President Trump a “threat to democracy.” (Screenshots/HBO)

A visibly-uncomfortable Esper struggled to offer a response, which left the HBO host exasperated. 

Esper finally uttered, “I’m not there yet. I’m definitely not voting for Trump but I’m not there yet.”

“This you’ll have to explain to me, sir,” Maher said. “I really respect you so much. Thank you for your service, I mean that so sincerely, but I just don’t understand smart people who don’t get binary. Binary.”

“I understand,” Esper responded. “Look, you also have the option of not voting.”

“How could you not be there after what you just said?” Maher further grilled the ex-Trump appointee

BILL MAHER RIPS DEMS ‘PANDERING’ TO MINORITY VOTERS: ‘MOVE ON FROM IDENTITY POLITICS. IT’S NOT WORKING’

Mark Esper speaks as Donald Trump looks on

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper has been an outspoken critic of former President Trump during the 2024 election cycle. (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

“There’s no way I will vote for Trump but every day that Trump does something crazy, the door to voting for Biden opens a little bit more. And that’s where I’m at,” Esper said. 

“That’s a slow-opening door,” Maher quipped. 

Esper later said he agreed with comments recently made by ex-GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, who argued the country “can survive bad policy” under Biden but “can’t survive a president who is willing to torch the Constitution.”

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"Real Time" host Bill Maher

HBO host Bill Maher recently said “I’ll do everything I can” to stop former President Trump from winning the 2024 presidential election. (Screenshot/HBO)

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Earlier in the discussion, Maher acknowledged that Trump surrounded himself with “normal people” in his first term, citing Republicans like Esper, former Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, former Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis, former White House chief of staff John Kelly, and former National Security Advisers H.R. McMaster and John Bolton. 

“I don’t think that’s gonna happen. I think it’s Mike Flynn,” Maher said. “And I think Mike Flynn… that is not a difference of type. That is a difference of kind. That is not a difference of degree. Now we’re into this true authoritarian realm.” 

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