Bill Maher's talk of hypothetical Trump-led purge baffles panel: 'I'm just asking'

"Real Time" host Bill Maher seemed to confound his panel Friday night by using reports of a purge in North Korea to try to make a point about Republicans and their reactions to President Trump.

Like other liberals, Maher has sometimes suggested that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and others in the GOP have been unwilling to "stand up" to Trump -- while many Republicans have countered they simply agree with the president's policies.

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But on Friday's show, Maher proposed an extreme hypothetical case, citing reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "had his entire negotiating team killed."

"What if Trump killed his negotiating team?" Maher asked. "What if he killed [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo and [National Security Adviser] John Bolton? What would [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell say or do?"

"What if Trump killed his negotiating team? What if he killed Mike Pompeo and John Bolton? What would Mitch McConnell say or do?"

— Bill Maher

The panel seemed baffled by the inquiry.

"Is that a real question?" New York Times columnist Charles Blow laughed.

"Yep, it is," Maher responded. "I'm just asking. I don't know. I'm just asking."

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Earlier, Maher mocked Trump's tweets celebrating the newly announced U.S.-Mexico deal on tariffs and immigration.

Maher dismissed the deal as a "brain fart," saying the president "gave up" after a standoff with Mexico.