Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon became the White House flotsam, John Oliver noted at the top of HBO’s Last Week Tonight. Like various TV news programs before him, Oliver showed that infamous Oval Office photo of Trump talking on phone to Russian ruler Vladimir Putin while surrounded by his team of Reince Priebus, Michael Flynn, Sean Spicer, Bannon and Veep Mike Pence – all now gone, save Pence.
The truly depressing thing about Chief White House Strategist Steve Bannon’s departure is how utterly unsatisfying it is, Oliver said.
“Because yes, one panderer to white nationalists has left the White House but, the problem is, the one he was working for is still very much there,” he added.
On Tuesday, Trump doubled down on his remarks about the group’s march in Charlottesville. At what had been billed as a Trump Tower press conference on infrastructure, Trump insisted some of those marching at the Unite the Right rally, seen in a Vice video shouting Nazi slogans, were “very fine people.”
“No. No, they weren’t,” Oliver insisted. “And I’ll tell you why. If you ware marching with white nationalists you are, by definition, not a very nice person.”
Condemnation of Trump came fast, from some unexpected quarters, including CEO’s participating in some White House councils.
Meanwhile, commentators usually in Trump’s corner had a tough time defending his remarks, including Fox News host Melissa Francis, seen in an often-played clip last week, crying and saying she knows what’s in her heart but there is nothing she can say now on the topic “without being judged.”
“Here’s a tip,” Oliver said. “If you are getting emotionally overwhelmed and feeling judged for defending Trump in his Nazi sympathizer phase, stop f*cking doing it. It’s that simple. No one is making you do it.
“Also, and I cannot stress this enough, how did you manage to make this about you? That’s almost impressive,” the late-night star snarked.
Trump’s party, meanwhile, declined to deal with what he had said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for instance, said he had “no new response” to Trump’s presser and, denied a report describing him as “very concerned and upset” by Trump’s remarks.
“Yes, that’s right, Mitch McConnell had the moral courage to deny anonymous sources who said he had some moral courage,” Oliver joked.
“The fact is, after the President of the United States implied that good people were marching with Nazis, the overwhelming majority of Republicans opted not to condemn him,” Oliver said, reporting that, “by our count, out of 292 Republican members of Congress, only around 54 could be bothered to unequivocally condemn Trump by name.”
The problem with not mentioning him is it suggests he’s not a key part of the problem, Oliver explained.
Returning to that Trump Talks To Vlad photo, Oliver forecast, “The hard truth is, nothing is really going to change in the White House until one more person in that photo finally gets shown the f*cking door.”