Maher kicked off his opening monologue Friday night addressing the instantly infamous Zoom call Toobin had with his New Yorker colleagues, where he was allegedly seen masturbating, prompting his suspension from the magazine and a leave of absence from CNN.
“It’s 11 days until the election, 11 days. I think the country is focused on one thing: Jeffrey Toobin jerked off on Zoom,” Maher chuckled. “Jeffrey Toobin, he’s a big CNN analyst… was whacking during a Zoom meeting in front of his colleagues!”
Maher’s recap sparked groans from his audience.
“You’re grossed out? Jesus Christ, he’s been a guest on this show. I’ve had to shake his hand!” Maher exclaimed.
Vice broke the news Monday that the Zoom call, which was described as an “election simulation” that took place earlier this month, included Toobin’s New Yorker colleagues Jane Mayer, Masha Gessen, Andrew Marantz, Jelani Cobb, Evan Osnos, Sue Halpern and Dexter Filkins playing various roles — including President Trump, Joe Biden, “establishment Republicans,” ‘establishment Democrats,” and “the military.” Toobin was playing “the courts.”
According to two sources, Toobin was seen masturbating in what was supposed to be a 10-minute “strategy session,” though the report added that it “seemed like Toobin was on a second video call.”
“The sources said that when the groups returned from their breakout rooms, Toobin lowered the camera,” Vice said. “The people on the call said they could see Toobin touching his penis. Toobin then left the call. Moments later, he called back in, seemingly unaware of what his colleagues had been able to see, and the simulation continued.”
The detail about Toobin’s alleged masturbation was added to the report after it was initially published, as noted by Vice: “This piece has been updated with more detail about the call and the headline has been updated to reflect that Toobin was masturbating.”
Toobin, one of CNN’s biggest stars, offered an apology for his “embarrassingly stupid mistake” and attempted to explain what led to the incident.
“I apologize to my wife, family, friends and co-workers,” Toobin said in a statement to Motherboard. “I believed I was not visible on Zoom. I thought no one on the Zoom call could see me. I thought I had muted the Zoom video.”
A spokesperson for The New Yorker confirmed to Fox News, “Jeffrey Toobin has been suspended while we investigate the matter.”
CNN also said in a statement, “Jeff Toobin has asked for some time off while he deals with a personal issue, which we have granted.”
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