On Sunday evening, John Oliver opened the latest edition of his Emmy-winning Last Week Tonight by following in the footsteps of his network-mate Bill Maher: by tackling President Trump’s campaign to alienate each and every one of our allies in accusing the British government of wiretapping him on behalf of former President Obama, and his Curb Your Enthusiasm-level-awkward meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Making things more awkward was the fact that on the campaign trail, candidate Trump accused Merkel of “ruining Germany” and repeatedly criticized her immigration policies.“It’s gotta be awkward to meet someone you’ve talked so much shit about. Personally, that’s why I never leave the house because I know Johnny Depp is somewhere out there presumably vaping into a supermodel’s vagina while he mansplains acting,” joked Oliver. “And if you are thinking Trump made an extra effort to smooth things over you would be wrong, because watch what happened when the media in a photo op made a very routine request.”
Yes, President Trump, when repeatedly asked by photographers to shake Merkel’s hand at the White House, and when personally asked by Merkel—“Do you want to have a handshake?”—appeared to pretend to not hear the requests, choosing to look at the ground and mope.
“Oh, shake her hand, you weird, weird, man!” exclaimed Oliver. “It is not often that you can genuinely say, ‘Trump really should have touched that woman,’ because look at it! He’s just staring straight ahead, refusing to make eye contact. He’s treating the chancellor of Germany like a drunk guy masturbating in a subway car.”
Oliver then went off on Trump’s unsubstantiated claim that British intelligence—or the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)—helped former President Obama wiretap him. “He didn’t use the NSA, he didn’t use the CIA, he didn’t use the FBI, and he didn’t use the Department of Justice. He used GCHQ,” declared Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer at a press conference recently.
“Wow. Now that is going to piss off the British, and you do not want to piss off the British, because if you do, we will say, ‘Oh dear,’ shake our heads, swallow the anger, and carry it around until we die,” joked Oliver. “Because think about what he’s actually alleging there: He is suggesting a U.S. president enlisted a foreign intelligence service to spy on a political adversary. That is an explosive charge. Perhaps that is why the NSA’s deputy director told the BBC it was ‘errant nonsense’ revealing ‘a complete lack of understanding in how the relationship works,’ and for their part, GCHQ called the accusations ‘utterly ridiculous.’ And yet, rather than distancing himself from Spicer, Trump decided to back him up.”
Trump, as is his wont, told the media during a joint press conference with Merkel, “That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox, and so you shouldn’t be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox.”
“No! We should be talking to you about it because you’re the fucking president, and you’re repeating it! ‘He said it because he heard it on television’ is barely an acceptable excuse for why your parrot said a racial slur,” offered Oliver.
If that weren’t enough, the “very talented lawyer” Trump referred to is Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano, a former TV judge with a rich history of touting conspiracy theories, including questioning whether Osama bin Laden was really killed and suggesting the 9/11 attacks were some sort of inside job.
“It’s hard for me to believe that it came down by itself,” Napolitano said of the World Trade Center on The Alex Jones Show back in 2010. “I think 20 years from now, people will look at 9/11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today. It couldn’t possibly have been done the way the government told us.”
“What a very talented legal mind!” joked Oliver.
The comedian then called it “frankly telling” that even Fox News wouldn’t stand behind the claim, with anchor Bret Baier stating on air, “We love the judge, we love him here at Fox, but the Fox news division was never able to back up those claims.”
“That is like how you talk about a racist grandparent: ‘We love Nana, we love her very much, but we cannot stand behind the things she says, nor would any of us use those specific words,’” said Oliver. “And you know if Fox News admits a story is bullshit, then it is BULLSHIT. And all the Trump team had to do was apologize and move on, and they were so close to doing that.”
News reports claimed that Spicer and the White House issued a private apology to the U.K. government—until Spicer disputed the claim, saying, “The administration had no regrets.”
Oliver thought that was absurd. “That is Sean Spicer saying he has ‘no regrets,’ which is amazing, because if anyone on this planet should have fucking regrets, it is you, Madam Ghostbuster. You should regret everything: every life decision that brought you into this regretful job that you regretfully hold,” he said. “At this point, you should really be more regret than man. A Regrettitor if you will: half-man, half-regretful beast, cursed to roam the planet until one day you’re finally released from your prison by the inevitable firing you’ll receive in, oh let’s say, two-and-a-half weeks, shall we?”