President Trump’s schmoozy summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un was less than two weeks ago. That’s how interminably long the last week has been.
It was a week that saw several members of the Trump camp try to deflect attention away from their cruel “zero tolerance” immigration policy that’s separated thousands of immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border and placed them in what some have described as child concentration camps—Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and presidential adviser Stephen Miller’s trips to Mexican restaurants; Melania Trump’s trolltastic Zara jacket; and, last but not least, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders weaponizing her official White House Twitter account against a family-owned restaurant.
Of course, after repeatedly claiming that he couldn’t do anything about his own border policy—and deceptively blaming the Democrats—Trump signed an executive order putting a halt to his own administration’s child separations.
“Yes, Trump claimed he couldn’t do a thing and then he did it, which is a little strange because he usually claims he can do things and then doesn’t do them, like draining the swamp or locking up Hillary or attending Tiffany’s sweet 16,” joked John Oliver.
The Last Week Tonight host then pointed out some of the glaring holes in Trump’s executive order on immigration.
“Unfortunately, that executive order has some significant hitches, because while families will now not be separated, that’s because they’ll be detained together, and under current rules, the children can’t be held in detention facilities for more than 20 days, which means less than three weeks from now, they could start splitting families up all over again,” Oliver explained.
If that weren’t enough, the Trump administration currently has no timeline or plan for how it will handle the 2,000-plus immigrant children that have already been separated from their parents.
And still, Trump supporters went to great lengths to, according to Oliver, “defend the indefensible,” from Fox News’ Laura Ingraham likening the kiddie prisons to “summer camps” to Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade excusing child imprisonment because “these aren’t our kids.”
Fox News’ Stuart Varney, meanwhile, argued: “If you read the headlines or you watch the evening news today or yesterday or this week at all, it’s ‘trade war,’ it’s ‘children in cages.’ The real big story that affects everybody in America is the success of the president’s tax-cut package and what it’s done for the economy.”
Oliver couldn’t believe his ears. “That deflection technique doesn’t really work when the thing you’re deflecting from is children in cages,” he said. “If a Realtor selling a house were to say, ‘Why are we talking about the children in cages? The kitchen has marble countertops,’ the only acceptable response would be, ‘Because they’re children and they’re in cages! Someone needs to let them out, you fucking monster!’”