The Season 7 finale of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver wasted no time in jumping into the main story: the 2020 Election. Yes, even though the election happened over two weeks ago, it’s still in play. Oliver said he would have much rather spent his time talking about the rare yellow turtle the internet has been fawning over, he needed to talk about Donald Trump — or in his words, “this a**hole”.
Of course, he addressed Trump’s refusal to concede. He said that his actions are not surprising, but instead, it’s disappointing to see “sh*t” like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying things like “there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration”.
“What the f*ck are you talking about you ‘Business Grimace’?” Oliver dragged Pompeo. He went on to say how most Republicans like Pompeo and Mitch McConnell refuse to acknowledge that Joe Biden is the President-elect. McConnell defended Trump saying that he doesn’t have to cheerfully accept election results.
“He’s incapable of cheerfully accepting anything apart from blow jobs, Nazi endorsements and the opportunity to scream in someone’s truck,” Oliver said.
Watch on Deadline
McConnell also complained that Democrats didn’t accept the 2016 results — which to a certain extent is true. At the same time, we must remember that Hilary Clinton conceded the day after and Barack Obama had Trump in the White House a day after that. Still, Republicans are still defending Trump’s indefensible behavior with one senior official stating in The Washington Post, “What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time?”
That said, Oliver discussed how weak Trump’s case is and the dangers of “humoring him”. He talks about how outlets like Fox News are going through all this trouble of defending the former Celebrity Apprentice host for nothing.
Oliver started with the claims of dead voters. There was a list posted of alleged 14,000+ dead people who voted in Detroit’s Wayne County. Out of a sample, CNN immediately debunked this information.
Tucker Carlson also claimed that a man named James Blalock, who is dead, cast a vote during the election. Again, this was proven wrong as Blalock’s wife said he didn’t vote. She registered as a voter under her married name Mrs. James Blalock Jr. which is how she signed her name — and she voted “against Trump”.
To add to that, Lindsey Graham sent a letter to the DOJ asking them to investigate claims made by a postal worker in Erie, PA that he heard that postmarks have been back-dated to make it appear as though the ballots had been collected on November 3. That postal worker later recanted his claims.
Fox News continued all of this malarkey with an interview with an anonymous Nevada poll worker who claimed they witnessed voter irregularities. They allegedly saw people at a Biden-Harris van filling out fraudulent ballots. Oliver called “bullsh*t” on all of this.
Oliver also points out that the Nevada poll worker interviewed by Fox News has yet to file a formal complaint. According to the Nevada AD office, all they have received is a redacted Affidavit that does not contain her name, signature or contact information. “They have no way to begin a proper investigation,” said Oliver, “and that has been something of a pattern here — the Trump team making claims of widespread fraud publicly but there then being a huge dropoff of when it comes to what they are actually filing in court.”
In Michigan, they submitted a lawsuit with 234 pages of affidavits from poll watchers but they didn’t show proof of fraud.
The latest claim is that voting machines and software changed votes even though the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency created by an act that Trump signed released a statement saying “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” They even said that the November 3rd election was the most secure election in history.
The only confirmed act of voter fraud was in Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County when a registered Republican signed his deceased mother’s name on a ballot application.
“So the allegations here are complete nonsense,” Oliver reiterates. “Who knows why Republicans are entertaining this?”
He then went to the impact of humoring Trump is pretty devastating — as everything he has done in the last four years. Because Republicans won’t recognize Biden’s win, the President-elect is not getting intelligence reports and his time is not able to access transition funds.
In addition, Trump’s refusal to concede is complicating Biden’s COVID-19 response plan. Until Trump’s team recognizes Biden as President-elect, officials can’t share COVID-19 distribution plans with the incoming team.
“That’s not great,” said Oliver as he points out how coronavirus cases are spiking.
Then there is the video of super Trump supporter Jon Voigt refusing to believe that Biden is the President-elect and how it is the “greatest fight since the Civil War: the battle of righteousness vs. Satan” — whatever that means. He also uttered a quote from Muhammed Ali which may or may not exist. Despite this, this presents even more danger because people will believe Voigt’s video which Trump retweeted.
We are already seeing the results of Trump’s behavior. Last Thursday, two armed men were arrested outside the Philadelphia Convention Center after police received a tip about a threat to the vote counting site. Al Schmidt, a Republican and city commissioner in charge of ballot counting, said there is a lot of chaos surrounding his office is “deranged” and making crazy accusation of fraud. His office has also been receiving not-so-veiled death threats…. for counting votes in a democracy.
“Trump is playing a dangerous game here,” said Oliver. “There’s a huge difference between ‘not my president’ and ‘not the president’.” He goes on to say that people who are getting riled up have been fed a steady diet of misinformation from outlets like Fox News, Newsmax, OAN and Trump himself.
Oliver said that despite all of this, deep down, Trump knows it’s over. On Friday, the final states were called putting Biden at 306 total electoral votes and Trump at 232. At a press conference after this news was released, Trump nearly acknowledged reality saying that whatever administration takes the White House, his administration won’t call for a lockdown.
“Trump lost this election and he knows it,” stated Oliver. “Just an hour after that press conference, he was retweeting voter fraud conspiracy theories again which is pathetic, dangerous and in many ways an appropriate coda to a presidency that has destroyed so many lives — not only of those who he has attacked but also of those who he has claimed to protect.”
He continued, “As a parting gift to the country, Trump is somehow managing to divide us even further while also hobbling his successor at the worst possible time which is absolutely unforgivable.”
Yes, Trump won’t be president next year is good but there is a lot of work to do. “At least in the short term, things are going to suck for a while, but we have to try and repair this damage,” said Oliver.
At the end of the episode, Oliver received a cameo from Adam Driver. Let me back up — for the entire season he has been obsessing over the Star Wars actor in a creepy and hilariously inappropriate way. Driver was forgiving and encouraged Oliver to step out and explore beyond his “white void”.
Oliver stepped out from behind his desk and walks through a red door to reveal a huge 2020 in the middle of nowhere. From the deaths of Chadwick Boseman, John Lewis, Ruth Bader Ginsberg to Amy Coney Barrett to Carole Baskin to the election, Oliver talks about how the year was filled with nothing but disappointment.
“2020 was absolutely terrible and I really hope next year is going to be better but the truth is what happens next is up to all of us,” he said. “It’s going to depend on how willing we are to fight, how well we learned from what happened and how much we are able to care about each other.”
He punctuated that by saying, “I don’t know what happens next… but I know what happens now.”
From there, he walked in dramatic slo mo fashion and picks up a detonator. “Let tomorrow be about soltions,” he said. “Today is about vengeance…f*ck you, 2020. Get f*cked!”
He presses the detonator and the 2020 behind him explodes.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is set to return with new episodes in February 2021.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.