John Oliver kicked off Last Week Tonight talking about President Donald Trump’s roller coaster week, that began when he met with “Cutie Patootie” Kim Jong Un. Trump tweet-boasted we can all feel much safer than the day he took office, because there is “no longer a nuclear threat from North Korean,” adding, “sleep well tonight!”
“Donald Trump telling me I can sleep well tonight is like the Grim Reaper telling me to Have a Happy Birthday,” Oliver said. “His presence is the reason I will not.”
Unfortunately the deal Trump made with the North Korean dictator was pretty underwhelming. The two sides agreed to “work toward” complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Which isn’t just ambiguous, compared to the multiple previous agreements involving North Korea, it’s also completely meaningless, Oliver noted. It’s a Trump specialty to deliver something that sounds great but isn’t actually anything, Oliver described, calling it an “ice cream blow job.”
The genuinely remarkable thing about the summit was the deference Trump happily showed to Kim. While diplomacy always involves a certain amount of sucking up to horrible people, Trump went above and beyond what was needed, calling Kim a “great personality,” a “funny guy,” “very smart” and a “great negotiator” who “loves his people, loves his country.”
“I’m not going to say that part of Trump’s admiration for Kim is that he wishes he could be a dictator,” Oliver explained. “I’m going to let him say that.”
He then played that headline-grabbing line from Trump’s White House lawn interview with Fox & Friends’ Steve Doocy in which POTUS said Kim “is the head of a country, and I mean he’s the strong head…He speaks ad his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”
Or, as Oliver described, “The President of the United States expressed the wish the people of the United States would model themselves after the malnourished population of North Korea.”
“It’s clear that the president wishes he were a dictator, which is a dire realization, right up there with ‘The robots have become sentient,’ or ‘the cat has power of attorney.’ How the fuck did we get here?”
But the last few days of the week have been consumed with the growing outrage over children being separated from their parents who have crossed into the country illegally, under the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy – nearly 2,000 children in just the last six weeks.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the policy of incarcerating people who crossed into the country illegally, knowing full well it would mean they would be separated from their children, many of whom are under 10 years old, with no clear plan as to when they might be re-united.
Trump has argued Sessions had no choice and is following laws given to his administration by Democrats. Trump says he wants the laws to be “beautiful, humane but strong.” Oliver argued that is not how you describe a law – “it’s how you describe a Viola Davis character in a movie called It Hasn’t Even Been Written Yet But She Will Still Win The Oscar.”
Also, Oliver noted, Democrats did not give them these laws, because “there is no law that suddenly requires separating children from their parents.” It is the result of a deliberate policy choice by Sessions.
While Trump has tried to distance himself from the policy so unpopular even former First Lady Laura Bush, a Republican, savaged it as “cruel” and “immoral” in a Sunday WaPo op-ed, Sessions doubled down on it Thursday, citing a passage in the Bible that we should obey the laws of the government because god has ordained the government for his purposes.
“So, again, it’s not a law – and, also, the Bible isn’t a government document,” Oliver scolded. “From a policy perspective, he might as well be citing Green Eggs and Ham.”
Fun fact: Oliver said the particular Bible passage Sessions cited also is one regularly used in Civil war times by defenders of slavery.
“I know, you’re probably thinking he wouldn’t align himself with slave owners, not even accidentally – not Jefferson Beauregard Sessions of Alabama!” Oliver snarked.
And, when White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders got asked about Sessions’ Bible defense, she backed him up, saying “I can say it’s very biblical to enforce the law.”
Oliver pointed out there are a lot of things said in the Bible but that does not mean you should do them.
For instance, at one point the Bible demands that the head of government get 100 foreskins. “But I don’t think Sanders is looking for Congress to gather together and start slicing dicks,” Oliver guessed.