After recapping a “whirlwind” week that included mass shooting and wildfires in California, CNN’s Jim Acosta being banned from the White House, and Trump skipping a commemoration for World War I soldiers because it was raining, John Oliver spent some time looking at Trump’s reax to the midterm elections.
Democrats won back control of the House which, Oliver noted, is bad for Trump – though not according to him.
At next morning’s presser, Trump insisted to reporters it was “very close to complete victory” for him.
Trump’s ability to frame defeat as victory aside, the weirdest part was his glee at the losses of Republicans who did not “embrace” him, though the losses were bad for him.
“Mike Coffman – too bad, Mike,” Trump snarked of the five-term Colorado congressman who said he lost when the race turned into a referendum on Trump.
Utah’s Rep. Mia Love, Trump said, “gave me no love. Then she lost. Too bad. Sorry about that, Mia.”
“I honestly don’t know what is worse there, his petty delight over the losses of his own party or his petty delight in his own dumb wordplay,” Oliver said.
But Trump’s reaction to his midterm elections loss quickly got swamped by Trump’s latest move in Stupid
Watergate, the HBO late-night host noted.
The morning after the elections, even before that presser, Trump “did the thing that we’ve all kind of been bracing for,” in
sacking his Attorney General/punching bag Jeff Sessions, though word of the firing came shortly after.
Though everyone in America has been waiting for this shoe to drop, Trump still managed to stun when he named Sessions’ chief of staff, Matt Whitaker – aka “White Shrek,” aka “Kenmore refrigerator who escaped from a Sears” – to the job, instead of natural successor Rod Rosenstein.
The move was troubling for a number of reasons, Oliver explained. He has long criticized Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. He has been critical of Marbury v Madison, a bedrock 1803 Supreme Court decision that established the principle of judicial review. Our nation’s new top cop also is on the record saying the key criteria for judges is whether they have a “biblical view of justice.”
Everything about that appointment was weird, Oliver said which, given that it’s Trump appointment, is saying a lot.
But, maybe the most eye-catching is that Whitaker was on the advisory board of a Florida patent company investigated by the FBI after being accused of defrauding clients.
“World Patent Marketing was a scam,” Oliver said, whose victims had some “truly incredible ideas.” That included the inventor of Supreme Diva Jeans – “butt pants” that make a woman’s bottom look bigger, Oliver explained.
“We actually tracked that inventor down, and I’m here to tell you, these things really work,” he said, rising from his desk to model a pair of the pants. An ad for the pants tracked down by Last Week Tonight claims a big butt makes women better able to forage for food and give birth to smarter children.
” A paid adviser to that patent company is now our acting Attorney General,” Oliver smirked.
“It should be pretty clear what is actually happening here. Trump wants a toady who will restrain Mueller. And Whitaker appears to be that guy.”
The White House has been surprised by the criticism of Whitaker. Of course.
How is Trump going to distance himself from the man he made Attorney General, after previously telling Fox & Friends “Matt Whitaker’s a great guy; I mean, I know Matt Whitaker” and who he met more than a dozen times at the Oval Office?
Friday morning, at a pop-up presser on the White House lawn, Trump told reporters he did not know Whitaker.
“OK, so that is just clearly bullshit,” Oliver pointed out. “Unless Trump simply forgot the man he appointed as acting attorney general is named Matt Whitaker, which actually might be plausible. After all, he does look more like his name would be Dork Blunderbuss or Chunk Smushington.”
“We’ve known for more than a year now that Trump wants to replace Sessions with someone who will restrain Mueller. And this week, he did it,” Oliver said, growing more serious. “So the only real remaining question is, how will we respond?”
“Will Congress take steps to keep Mueller safe? I would hope so, because it is pretty clear by now that Trump will go exactly as far as will allow him to go. That is undeniable.”