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The author and humorist Fran Lebowitz said she regretted saying the Saudis should do the same for President Donald Trump as they did to the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Lebowitz made the comment during Friday's episode of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher."
"I didn't realize that I had said it. I had 12 cups of coffee. I regret saying it," she said in a segment after the show.
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The author and humorist Fran Lebowitz said Friday she immediately regretted calling for President Donald Trump to meet the same fate as journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of the Saudis.
Lebowitz made the remark during Friday's episode of HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher," after she had been asked for her opinion on impeaching Trump.
"Impeachment would be just the beginning of what he deserves, not even scratching the surface of what he deserves," she replied. "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. Maybe they could do the same for him!'"
Lebowitz was referring to Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist who was brutally murdered and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, last year.
Her comments were met with gasps and applause in the studio — and immediate backlash on social media. Both Maher and Lebowitz addressed the controversy on Maher's YouTube segment "Overtime," where he and his guests answer fan questions from the latest show.
"I saw your face when I said it," Lebowitz said. "I didn't realize that I had said it. I had 12 cups of coffee. I regret saying it."
Read more: The US State Department barred 16 people it says were involved in Jamal Khashoggi's killing
Maher appeared to commiserate, noting that it was a live show.
"You really don't want to see the president dismembered by the Saudis," he said. "You know, I don't like Donald Trump either, but you know, I had Kathy Griffin on... I said we should forgive Kathy Griffin, but I don't endorse what she said either, or what she did... No matter who the president is, we don't want physical harm."
Later, Lebowitz added that her words had been misinterpreted: "I regret that everyone misinterpreted it because they misinterpret everything."
Griffin had met near universal condemnation in 2017 after she posted a photo that showed her holding a gruesome prop resembling Trump's severed head. She appeared on Maher's show the following year and thanked him for being "one of the first and only people to pubicly support me and say what happened was bull----."
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