This week was a bizarre one for former Celebrity Apprentice host Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president.
First, Trump met with House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday to mend fences with the leader of the Republican establishment. Ryan later said he was “encouraged” by their meeting, and even went so far as to call The Donald “a very warm and genuine person.”
John Oliver remains unconvinced.
The host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight, who’d previously unloaded on “Drumpf” for being a “racist,” first referred to Trump as “Rome burning in man form” before addressing Ryan’s specious claims.
“OK, stop, because I understand the ‘genuine’ part in the sense that Miller Genuine Draft is genuine—you know, it is the shitty thing that it is—but the only way that Trump could be described as ‘warm’ is if you’re feeling leftover tanning bed heat radiating from his skin,” joked Oliver.
He then proceeded to compare the reluctant truce between Trump and the Republican establishment to “the teenage Christian couple who have made an abstinence pledge: They are going to have sex, it is just a matter of time, but they still need to make a big show of resisting it for anyone who might be paying attention.”
But the most insane story this week involving Trump was reported by The Washington Post, which published a lengthy recorded conversation of Trump acting as his own publicist—shamelessly bragging about his exploits under the alias “John Miller”—in the ’90s. This was reportedly a regular practice for Trump, who’d phone reporters under the alter egos “John Miller” and “John Barron” to boast about all things Trump.“Perhaps the weirdest thing involving Trump this week was the release of tapes suggesting that, in the ’90s, he had for some reason invented a publicist for himself named John Miller and pretended to be him on the phone,” said Oliver.Last Week Tonight then ran a portion of the audio of Trump as Miller, with the real estate magnate turned politician saying, “I basically worked for different firms. I worked for a couple of different firms, and I’m somebody that he knows and, I think, somebody that he trusts and likes.”“That is so perfectly Donald Trump: Even his imaginary alter ego reflexively brags about himself,” cracked Oliver.
Trump-as-Miller even claimed on the tapes that Madonna “called” and wanted to date him, saying, “Actresses—people that you write about—they just call to see if they can go out with [Trump].”
“Now, much like his candidacy, that claim is sad—but not implausible,” said Oliver. “Remember, there were rumors that in the ’90s Madonna got together with Vanilla Ice, Jose Canseco, and Willem Dafoe, and what is Donald Trump if not the authenticity of Vanilla Ice, the likability of Jose Canseco, and the terrifying facial expressions of Willem Dafoe?”
Perhaps the craziest thing about this whole ridiculous affair is that Trump admitted to being his own publicist, aka John Miller, back in 1991. It’s right here in a People magazine story on Trump’s relationship with Marla Maples. Not convinced? Trump also admitted to using the alias “John Barron” to gab to reporters under oath.Of course, Trump denied that the voice in the recording—which audio forensics experts have said is definitely Trump—was his, telling Today’s Savannah Guthrie, “It was not me on the phone.”
“Yes, it does! It’s clearly you!” exclaimed Oliver. “Look, there is only one way to settle this: Tonight, I’d like to extend an invitation to ‘John Miller, publicist’ to appear on this program. Now, to be clear, this is not an invitation to Donald Trump—who has never and will never be invited here for an interview—but if John Miller wants to sit down with us, we would love to have him.”Oliver then pointed to a special interview area he’d set up with “all the things” John Miller presumably enjoys, included an overcooked Trump steak, low-grade pornographic magazines, and a hand mirror.
“It’s an open invitation,” Oliver continued, “so please come on by, John Miller, there’s literally nothing stopping you other than the fact you obviously don’t exist.”