NBC's Richard Engel Sides With Maher on Hopes of Recession to Defeat Trump

'Short-term pain might be better than long-term destruction of the Constitution'

Bill Maher and Richard Engel/ Youtube Screenshot
August 10, 2019

NBC News foreign correspondent Richard Engel was the only panelist who sided with HBO's Real Time host Bill Maher after he expressed desire for an economic recession to help defeat President Donald Trump in 2020.

Engel appeared on Maher's show with Trump's former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci, Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell, and frequent MSNBC guest Tom Nichols.

During a discussion about the trade wars affecting the economy, Nichols said the farmers were going to "have to keep touching this hot stove." He went on to say he "wasn't wishing for a recession."

"Neither am I," Rampell said.

"Well, you should wish for a recession because that will definitely get [Trump] unelected," Maher interjected.

"You don't really want a recession," Scaramucci said, attempting to get Maher to change his rhetoric.

"I really do," Maher said. "We have survived many recessions. We can't survive another Donald Trump term."

Engel followed up to express his agreement with Maher.

"Short-term pain might be better than long-term destruction of the Constitution," Engel argued.

"Right!" Maher replied. "Thank you very much."

This isn't the first time Maher has rooted for the economy to collapse in order to defeat Trump. In June, Maher said he was rooting for a recession. While he said the economy was going "pretty well," he felt like the "bottom has to fall out at some point."

"By the way, I'm hoping for it, because I think one way you get rid of Trump is a crashing economy," Maher said. "So please, bring on the recession. Sorry if that hurts people, but it's either root for a recession, or you lose your democracy."

The Washington Free Beacon reported Maher's comments weren't well-received by some members of the media, including liberal commentator Dean Obediallah and MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle. Obediallah penned an op-ed for CNN calling the remarks "despicable," and Ruhle said his rhetoric was only going to help Trump.

"When you see celebrities say I hope the economy bottoms out to get rid of Trump, I think that helps Trump," she said.