On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver finally took on billionaire Donald Trump.
“I get that the character of Donald Trump is entertaining, and that he says things that people want to hear,” Oliver said. “And I know that his very name is powerful.”
But Oliver argued that Trump isn’t what he seems. Here are some of the qualities many supporters have listed about Trump — and Oliver’s counterpoints:
- “He tells it like it is”: “Does he? Because the website PolitiFact checked 77 of his statements, and rated 76 percent of them as varying degrees of false.”
- “He is truly independent and not beholden to anyone”: “While it is true that he hasn’t taken corporate money, the implication that he has personally spent $20 to $25 million is a bit of a stretch, because what he’s actually done is loaned his own campaign $17.5 million and has just personally given just $250,000. And that’s important, because up until the convention he can pay himself back for the loan with campaign funds.”
- “He’s tough”: “For a tough guy, he has incredibly thin skin. Back in 1988, Spy magazine called him a short-fingered vulgarian. And ever since, the editor Graydon Carter says he receives envelopes from Trump, always with a photo on which he circled his hand to highlight the length of his fingers, usually with a note reading, ‘See, not so short!'”
- “His success”: “While yes, he has made more money than most of us will make in a lifetime, not only did he get a multimillion-dollar inheritance from his father, but he’s also lost a huge amount.”
Oliver then played a clip of Trump’s daughter saying, “I remember once my father and I were walking down Fifth Avenue and there was a homeless person sitting right outside of Trump Tower. And I remember my father pointing to him and saying, ‘You know, that guy has $8 billion more than me.’ Because he was in such extreme debt at that point.”
Oliver also noted one other issue with Trump: He’s wildly inconsistent. “He’s been pro-choice and pro-life, for and against assault weapon bans, in favor of both bringing in Syrian refugees and deporting them out of the country.”
Or take Trump’s inconsistent statements on former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke’s endorsement of Trump. To CNN, Trump said, “I don’t know anything about David Duke. Okay? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.”
Oliver was not having it, pointing to Trump’s past remarks to journalists: “Really? That’s your best answer there? Because you definitely know who he is — partly because you called him ‘a bigot’ and ‘a racist’ in the past.”
Oliver concluded that the best way to take down Trump is to uncouple him from his brand — his name. And it turns out that the Trump family’s name was once Drumpf. Oliver explained how this could work:
If you are thinking of voting for Donald Trump, the charismatic guy promising to make America great again, stop and take a moment to imagine how you would feel if you just met a guy named Donald Drumpf, a litigious serial liar with a string of broken business ventures and the support of a former Klan leader who he can’t decide whether or not to condemn. Would you think he would make a good president, or is the spell now somewhat broken?
“That is why tonight I am asking America to make Donald Drumpf again,” Oliver added.
Oliver then announced the launch of the #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain and the website DonaldJDrumpf.com, where anyone can download a browser extension that replaces Trump’s name with Drumpf.
“We cannot keep getting blinded by the magic of his name,” Oliver said. “So please, don’t think of him as Donald Trump. Think of him as something else.”
Watch: Donald Trump’s rise is a scary moment in America