John Oliver began his HBO late night show with talk of yet another busy week for the Trump administration “the Sharknado of administrations in that they are spinning out of control, destroying everything in their path and will almost certainly eventually hire Tara Reid,” he said.
The week was dominated by the continuing fallout of the previous week’s FBI raid on Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen. And while no charges have been brought against him yet, there is already one question dominating the news cycle: Will Cohen flip?
“You’ll notice that everyone just skips the question, ‘Does Trump have something to hide?’ and goes straight to ‘Will this guy hide it for him?'” Oliver noted. Which, he said, “makes sense, because at this point the only genuinely surprising headline would be “Bombshell: Trump Did Totally Normal And Legal Stuff For 40 Years.”
Quentin Schaffer, HBO's Longtime Head Of Corporate Communications, Exits After 39 Years
Trump insists Cohen won’t flip, but some closest to him, like another of his longtime lawyers Jay Goldberg think otherwise which, Oliver reminded, he had articulated on CNN “in the creepiest way.”
Goldberg said of Cohen, “he’s a type that I recognized in the past as one not suited to stand up to the rigors of jail life…I think in many ways, and it’s difficult to say this, prison is has a racial overtone. And a person like Michael does not see himself walking down Broadway while people are clamoring, ‘You’re going to be my wife’.”
Based on that statement alone, Oliver said he’s not surprised in the least that Donald Trump hired Goldberg as his lawyer. “Because it takes a questionable lawyer to make a prison rape joke. It takes a Donald Trump lawyer to somehow turn that joke racist…He’s essentially implying that Michael Cohen is fine with being sexually assaulted were it not for the unfortunate racial overtones there.”
Oliver then turned his attention to Ryan Zinke, Trump’s Secretary of the Interior – “a man doing a job that Trump definitely fully understands.”
Which signaled the start of a clip of Trump talking about the “very special guy I made Secretary of the Interior. Does he know the interior? He knows it he loves it, he loves seeing it, and riding on it.”
This, Oliver insisted, sounds less like a president trying to introduce a member of his cabinet, and more like a guy at a yard sale trying to sell a couch that he definitely fucked.”
Zinke’s job is to serve as a steward of American public land, but he has overseen the largest reduction of federal land protection in the nation’s history.
That included reducing the size of the Bears Ears monument in Utah, which included land sacred to local Native American tribes, by more than ¾, Oliver noted.
Zinke insisted it was not, as has been charged, a favor to oil and gas industries, insisting that there is little oil and gas in that location, of which, he said, he is aware, as a geologist.
It’s one of about 40 times Zinkie has mentioned in public that he is a geologist, including under oath before Congress.
“Which makes it a little awkward that this week it emerged that Ryan Zinke is not, in fact, a geologist. He has never been a geologist. What he did do was major in geology in college,” Oliver revealed.
While all politicians self-mythologize, Zinke has a real flair for it, which Oliver detailed.
Zinke also is an “extremely weird man,” Oliver said, given that he has his own special flag he flies outside headquarters whenever he is in the building like the British queen does. He also has issued his own commemorative coins with his name of them to give to staff and visitors. And, last year at an event, when music started playing, he grabbed Second Lady Karen Pence to dance and began throwing her around “like a sack of unbleached flour.”
But mostly, he “is not a f*cking geologist,” Oliver said, rolling clips of a dozen of the 40-ish times he has insisted stoutly that he is.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.