And there was a lot to catch up on.
This past week, according to the HBO host, was notable “not just for the terrible things [President] Trump tried to do, but for how terribly he tried to do them.” Those included the president declaring, via three early-morning tweets, that transgender people were banned from the military—much to the surprise of the military community, including Defense Secretary James Mattis, who was reportedly “appalled” by the announcement. The majority of Americans, meanwhile, support trans military service.
It is not known exactly how many transgender people are serving in the military, but the number probably lies somewhere between the estimated 15,500 deduced by a 2014 UCLA study and a 2016 RAND Corporation study, commissioned by the Pentagon, that cited 10,790.
“Look, that is as hateful as it is pointless,” said Oliver. “But it means we may already be entering the Mad Libs portion of Trump’s presidency, where he just persecutes groups at random: Transgender people are banned from the military, Pacific Islanders can no longer use the postal service, and Jews can no longer high-five. Sorry, Jews.”
There was also the GOP-controlled Senate’s failure to pass the “skinny” Obamacare repeal, with “maverick” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) returning to the Hill from brain surgery to cast the deciding vote in killing the bill.
And yet, “All this drama somehow took a backseat this week to one unfolding within the White House, where both Sean Spicer and Reince Priebus have resigned following the appointment as communications director of Anthony Scaramucci, a former hedge-funder and Long Islander of the Frickin’ Month for 643 months in a row,” said Oliver. “Scaramucci’s nickname is ‘The Mooch,’ which already sounds like the name of a cow STD. So, uh… neither one of us has been with anyone else, and yet somehow I have The Mooch. Is there anything you need to tell me?”
Oliver found it odd that The Mooch took it upon himself to quote disgraced Penn State football coach Joe Paterno on CNN during a discussion about his crackdown on leakers. “Remember Joe Paterno? What would he say?” asked Scaramucci. “Act like you’ve been there before. Act with honor and dignity.”
Scaramucci is engaging in a bit of incredibly shameless self-promotion here. While working in the White House, he’s producing an HBO documentary on Joe Paterno starring Al Pacino. An independent investigation commissioned by the Penn State Board of Trustees reached the conclusion that Paterno knew about allegations of child sexual abuse against his assistant coach Jerry Sandusky as early as 1998. Paterno’s refusal to disclose the allegations “empowered” his colleague and friend to continue abusing kids for 14 more years until his dismissal.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. It is a little loaded quoting Joe Paterno, particularly in the context of ‘Everybody needs to keep their mouth shut,’” said Oliver. “The crazy thing is, that whole ‘cct like you’ve been there’ quote has been attributed to multiple coaches, including Vince Lombardi, and yet The Mooch still picks the guy who has a ‘Child sex abuse scandal and dismissal’ section on his Wikipedia page. Which is just weird.”
Then there’s the matter of The Mooch’s unhinged interview with The New Yorker, in which he branded then White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus “a fucking paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” and added, “I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock.”
“Scaramucci said, ‘I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock.’ That’s what he said, to a reporter, on the record. There is just no point in anyone being coy about this anymore,” said a stunned Oliver.
“That is where we are six months into the Trump administration—with a president who has no major legislative accomplishments, no conception of even the very basics of how his job works, and a communications director who answers the question ‘What if a tanning bed was a person?’”