Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014–…): Season 3, Episode 25 - Guantánamo - full transcript

John talks about Guantanamo Bay detention camp, Donald Trump controversies and Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov.

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LAST WEEK TONIGHT
WITH JOHN OLIVER

SEASON III
EPISODE 25

Welcome to Last Week Tonight.

I'm John Oliver.
Thank you so much for joining us.

Let us dive in straight away
with the 2016 election,

or as it's better known,
"I get it: we all died, this is hell,"

"and Satan has cursed us to live out
this nightmare for all eternity 2016".

The second presidential debate
wrapped up half an hour ago,

I don't know anything
about the thoughtful,

substantive discussion of policy
that I'm assuming took place.

All I can do is talk about
what led up to the debate this week,



by which I mean, of course, this.

I tried and fuck her. She was married.
She wanted to get some furniture.

I took her out for furniture.
I moved on her like a bitch.

And when you're a star
they let you do it.

Whatever you want.

Grab them by the pussy.
You can do anything.

Yes, that is audio of Donald Trump,
in 2005,

telling a giggling Billy Bush
that one of the perks of fame

is that he can grab women's genitalia
without permission.

And, let me remind you
that last Sunday,

I told you if you looked
above the clouds,

you would see rock bottom.

But, if you look up there now,
just way, way up there,

all the way up high, you will see,
right up in the distance,



where we were this time last week.

Because since then,
we have sunk so low,

we are breaking
through the Earth's crust,

where drowning in boiling magma
will come as sweet, sweet relief.

And, incidentally: fuck Billy Bush !
Fuck that guy. Fuck him !

Fuck him !

Not just for laughing along, but for
doing this once they got off the bus.

- How about a little hug for Donald ?
- Would you like a little hug ?

- Melania said this was okay.
- How about a little hug for the Bushy ?

Here we go ! Excellent !

It is gross enough that he's serving
as Donald Trump's hugpimp,

but let's not gloss over
the fact that he just said,

"how about a little hug
for the Bushy ?"

a phrase that, if it is not already,

should really be a felony offense
in all 50 states.

That tape has reverberated
throughout the weekend,

despite Trump's efforts to calm
things down with a video apology.

I've never said I'm a perfect person,
nor pretended to be someone I'm not.

Anyone who knows me knows
these words don't reflect who I am.

I said it, I was wrong,
and I apologize.

Let's try and unpack all of that.

First he claims he's never said
he's a perfect person,

which, of course, is a lie.

"I consider myself too perfect..."

Then he says he never pretended
to be someone he's not,

right before claiming,
"these words don't reflect who I am".

Which is absolutely absurd.

They could not capture his essence
more if they were spoken

by a spray-tanned Furby eating KFC
and screaming at a gold star family.

Now, all this left Trump
supporters in a quandary.

His former campaign manager,
Corey Lewandowski,

made some desperate attempts
to deflect attention elsewhere.

We don't have any understanding
what Hillary Clinton has said

in those meetings with Wall Street
where she was paid for these speeches.

Same things
are being said in that regard.

No, the same things
are not being said in that regard.

At the moment
he did that interview,

Wikileaks was publishing what it claimed
were excerpts from those speeches,

and while there is
some compromising stuff in there,

at no point did she say
to Goldman Sachs bankers,

"I'm for open trade and open borders,
but above all,"

"I'm for luring men to furniture stores
where I can grab them by the dick."

I'm famous.
I can get away with that.

But it soon became clear that this
tape had done some serious damage.

Paul Ryan, the speaker of the
US House of Representatives said:

"I am sickened
by what I heard today."

"Women are to be championed
revered, not objectified."

Wait, hold on there, hold on:
"Championed and revered" ?

Women are human beings
and not pedigreed show dogs, right ?

"Women should be looked after
with the utmost care:"

"thriceweekly grooming,
regular vet appointments, "

"and then fed high-protein kibble
to maintain the luster of their coats."

Now, there is a second half
to that statement

and you'll notice,
it does not involve Paul Ryan

withdrawing his
support for Donald Trump.

I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation
with the seriousness it deserves

and works
to demonstrate to the country

that he has greater respect for women
than this clip suggests.

You hope he works
to demonstrate respect for women ?

What are you talking about ?
It's too late in absolutely every way.

It's October of an election year,
and second, he's fucking 70.

But Ryan was not the only
outraged Republican.

They lined up to disavow Trump's
statements, each with a similar theme.

I have five daughters.

And what Mr. Trump said
is offensive to me and my family.

My wife and I,
we have a 15-year-old daughter.

I have a wife, I have a daughter.

I have a mother, and I have 5 sisters.
Although these were not my sisters,

this wasn't my daughter,
my wife, my mother

to whom Donald Trump was speaking
or of whom he was speaking.

This was somebody's sister
or daughter.

It may have been somebody's mother
or somebody's wife.

Look: as, as the son of a mother
and the husband of a wife,

what the fuck does that have to do
with anything ?

You're going through such an elaborate
six degrees of separation exercise

to arrive at someone with a Y
chromosome that you can feel sorry for.

Numerous prominent Republicans

began to withdraw
their support for Trump.

Most notably, the party's
former nominee, John McCain,

who put out a statement saying:
"I will not vote for Donald Trump",

a statement whose bravery
was a little undercut

by the fact it was
his second attempt at a response,

the first of which was much weaker.

Senator John McCain said:
"There are no excuses"

"for Donald Trump's
offensive and demeaning comments."

"No woman should ever be victimized
by this inappropriate behavior."

"He bears the burden of his conduct
and should suffer the consequences."

Except no, "he alone" does not
bear the burden of his conduct.

Because he alone did not make
himself your party's nominee.

All of you have consistently
supported him

through some
absolutely heinous shit.

In his very first campaign speech,
he called Mexicans rapists

That was just the beginning.
Since then,

he has proposed a temporary ban
on Muslim immigrants,

advocated for killing
terrorists' families,

which is, by the way, a war crime,

argued for waterboarding
even if it doesn't obtain information,

because, and I quote,
"they deserve it anyway",

and this week, he stood by his claims
that the Central Park Five were guilty,

despite the fact that DNA evidence
has since exonerated them.

And all of you still thought
he should be president.

So the only way that you get
to be shocked and outraged now

is if you were cryogenically frozen
until Friday afternoon

and that Access Hollywood tape

was the first thing you saw
upon being reanimated.

Anything less than that,
and this is on you, too.

And as for Trump,
as for Trump himself,

he still doesn't appear to realize how
horrifying his remarks actually were.

During his apology, he was already
trying to minimize the incident.

Let's be honest:
we're living in the real world.

This is nothing more than a distraction
from the important issues we're facing.

I'm disappointed to hear him
say we are living in the real world.

I had secretly hoped this whole
election was a horrible dream.

And not even my dream,
the dream of a racist teenager

who fell asleep
while masturbating to internet porn.

But second, this is not a distraction,
nor is it even a surprise.

If Jimmy Carter
had been caught saying that stuff,

sure, we would all be shocked.

But with Trump,
it's entirely in character.

While there is talk of Republicans
trying to get him off the ticket,

early voting has begun.

People have already voted for him.
This is happening.

And in a way, perhaps we've always
been heading to this historic moment:

the first female presidential nominee

versus the human embodiment
of every backwards, condescending,

Mad Men-esque boy's club attitude
that has ever existed,

rolled into one, giant, salivating,
dick-size-referencing,

pussy-grabbing
warthog in a red power tie.

And, I'll put it this way:

if American democracy
is a computer game,

and Hillary is completing women's 100
year-quest to get to the oval office,

it kind of makes sense
that this would be the final boss.

And now, this !

A look back at Billy Bush's
creepy bromance with Donald Trump.

Joining us from Palm Beach
is Access Hollywood's Billy Bush,

who's a good friend of the Donald
and his bride-to-be...

- You ready to get going ?
- Certainly ready.

Let's get this party started.
The man is here.

Who has more access to you,
me or Melania ?

I would say
you have slightly more access.

They should want me.
I'm a ratings machine.

If I don't know that's Billy Bush,
there's something wrong.

Are you prepared,
mentally, physically,

to take over as president
of the United States ?

Physically, I'm prepared.
I'm in very good shape.

Very powerful man. And mentally,
perhaps I'm not prepared.

Do I make him laugh ?
Is he like this with everybody ?

Billy Bush's actual
outgoing voicemail message.

You've reached Billy Bush's office.
He's busy making America great again.

Let's go !

Moving on: our main story tonight
concerns President Obama.

A man so close
to being able to smoke again

he can almost taste those Camels.

His time in office is almost done.
He's achieved a great many things,

but tonight we're going to look
at one of his failures.

I have ordered the prison at
Guantanamo Bay closed by next year.

Make no mistake:
we will close Guantanamo prison.

I still want to close Guantanamo.
I have tried to close Gitmo.

I will continue to push to close Gitmo.
It's time to close Gitmo.

The department
is submitting to Congress our plan

for finally closing
the facility at Guantanamo.

Yes, Guantanamo Bay.
It's Obama's "one that got away."

A little odd, considering it's a place
where literally no one can get away.

So why has the president
been unable to close Gitmo ?

For a start,
most people don't want him to.

52 percent of Americans
believe it should remain open.

There are others who believe
we should be using it more.

The only problem
with Guantanamo Bay

is there are too many
empty beds and cells.

We should be sending more terrorists
there for further interrogation.

As far as I'm concerned,
every last one of 'em can rot in hell.

But they can rot
in Guantanamo Bay.

He is saying, "Let's use Guantanamo
Bay like hell's waiting room."

That is problematic for two reasons:
first, it's arguably unconstitutional.

Second, "hell's waiting room" is the
slogan of Henry Kissinger's bedroom.

That's a fact. That's just a fact.

I can see the reasons
that Guantanamo is appealing.

You get to keep potentially dangerous
people locked up and far away.

I'd like to argue that there are even
better reasons for closing it forever.

Let's start with the practical ones.

It's very expensive. Guantanamo
cost $445 million to run last year,

which means we're currently spending
over $7 million per prisoner per year.

But the costs
obviously go way beyond that.

Last year, a UN Human Rights Council
conducted a review of the US,

and Gitmo was something
of a feature.

Iceland recommends the closure
of the Guantanamo prison.

End illegal detentions
in Guantanamo Bay.

Close the Guantanamo Bay facility.

And do its best in order to close down
the Guantanamo facilities.

Improve living conditions in prisons,
in particular, in Guantanamo.

Investigate torture allegation,
extrajudicial execution,

and other violations of human rights
committed in Guantanamo.

Yeah, you heard right, that is Iran,
Sudan, Libya, and others

lecturing us
about human rights abuses.

Which is yeah, a little hypocritical,
maybe don't tell us to eat healthy

when you have a fucking Whopperito
in your mouth.

But, does seem like this is one of the
few things the entire world agrees on.

It's "Guantanamo is fucked up",
and "Yeah, you know what ?"

"Kevin can wait.
Yeah. He can. Let the man wait."

So, how did we get here ?
Guantanamo's origins

are a series of weird circumstances
and ad-hoc decisions.

For a start, we don't own it.
It's a rental.

In 1903, we struck a deal with Cuba
to lease the land for a naval base,

and ever since, we have mailed them
a check every year for "$4,085 in rent"

although, as Fidel Castro once told,
they've been accumulating in his desk.

Those are checks
from the US government ?

These are checks
from the US government...

- Guantanamo's rent ?
- Yes.

Just think about that:
we've barely been talking to Cuba.

We disagree with their politics.

And yet, we send them checks for
hilariously small amounts of money.

We're basically Cuba's grandparents.

And this unique arrangement
means that Guantanamo,

Guantanamo is legally
both America, and not America

or, as one White House
official once called it,

"the legal equivalent
of outer space."

Which is a bit of an exaggeration.
Some laws do apply up in space.

There's the laws of physics,
and the law of attraction.

Of course, you didn't really think Neil
and Buzz did not fuck on the Moon !

They moonfucked.
They moonfucked, my friends.

They moonfucked good.
Deal with it. Deal with that.

And this legal limbo
has been useful to us in the past.

George HW Bush used Guantanamo
to involuntarily detain

Haitian refugees seeking asylum.

Bill Clinton not only continued that,
he used it to hold Cuban refugees.

So the use of Gitmo to store people

was one of those dicey legal
workarounds in the nineties.

It was right up there
with Vanilla Ice's explanation

of why he didn't rip off Queen.

It's not the same bassline.

It goes...

Ours goes...

That makes sense. You've got
a rock solid case there, Vanilla.

No problem there.

Stashing those refugees at Gitmo
attracted significant criticism.

But when the war on terror began,
we started doing the exact same thing

with terror suspects,
even though, right from the start,

Donald Rumsfeld admitted
it was far from the perfect solution.

We've gotten into trouble every time
we've tried to use Guantanamo Bay

to hold people, for other reasons.

Why use it ?
Why is it the best place ?

I would characterize
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,

as the least worst place
we could have selected.

"The least worst place".
That is a rousing endorsement

from the worst secretary of defense
of all time.

But there was a problem with using
Guantanamo in the War on Terror,

and people were pointing it out
at the time.

How do you avoid the prospect of
the US military in fact being jailers

for an indeterminate period of time
of people who have not been charged ?

What are you going to do about it ?

It is certainly not the first choice
of the Department of Defense

to be in the business of detaining
people for long periods of time.

Yeah, it might not have been his
first choice, but it was inevitable.

'Cause a War on Terror
isn't a traditional war,

where there's an exchange
of prisoners at the end.

We were never going
to accept a formal surrender

from the President of Terror,
who I can only assume is Willem Dafoe.

And now that brings us to here,
nearly a decade and a half later,

and we are all so accustomed
to the very existence of Guantanamo

that news crews tour it
like it's a million-dollar listing.

This is a typical cell in Camp 5.

It meets all American Correctional
Association standards.

This is about 95 square feet
of living space

with about 80
feet of unencumbered space.

One of the other amenities is a library
of books, magazines, and video games.

The book that we have the most
would be the Harry Potter series.

Inmates are also given art classes,
the results of which are on display.

He's making it sound like the world's
least-Jewish summer camp.

Who's doing Birthright next year ?
Nobody is.

Although even the current luxuries
the prisoners get

tend to carry a chilling reminder
of where they are.

Toiletries happen to have
the brand name "Maximum Security".

A prison calling its deodorant
"Maximum Security" is on the nose.

It would be like
a Holiday Inn Express

calling its complimentary lotion
"Tearful Masturbation".

That hit home a little
too close for some of you.

Before you think that those books
provided an escape for the inmates,

listen to Shaker Aamer,
released last October

after being held without charge
for nearly 14 years.

He found one book less an escape,
and more a reminder of where he was.

They got an island in Harry Potter,
it says Azbakan,

where there's no happiness, they
suck all your feelings out of you.

And you don't have
no feeling anymore.

That's how I felt all the time,
is this is Azbakan.

This is not from this world,
that's what they tried.

They want to make you feelingless.

That is the saddest allusion to
Harry Potter I have ever heard.

I say that as a man
who is often described

as "Harry Potter
if he aged like a president".

That's the point:
no amount of sugar coating

can cover up the reality of what
we have done at Guantanamo Bay.

In the early years, interrogation
techniques included beatings,

prisoner's arms and legs are
shackled together for long periods

and hours and sometimes days
of repeated loud music.

Although sometimes
that last technique backfired.

That same Harry Potter-loving
inmate grew up loving rock music

and would annoy
the guards by singing along.

Listen to him describe the song that
gave him the most consolation.

I'm sure everybody will laugh,
I used to sing it a lot.

I thought the words, it fits me.
Makes me feel like it's me again.

Which is the Whitesnake,
it's "Here I go again".

The words goes,
here I go again on my own.

Going down the only road
I've ever known.

Like a drifter
I was born to walk alone,

'cause I know what it means to walk
alone on only street of dreams,

and here I go again.

And it's true.
Because it's just dreams.

Dreams that I will be home one day,
that I will be free,

that Guantanamo will be closed.

You know you are miserable
when you are finding solace

in a fucking Whitesnake song.

A group whose second-most
inspirational lyrics are probably:

I know you ain't a bad girl,
No matter what the neighbors say,

It's just you wear
those skin-tight dresses,

With your G-string tuned to "A".

Pure poetry.
Purist poetry.

We justified Gitmo,
and everything we did inside it,

because we were constantly
reminded of one thing.

These are not innocents.
These are among the worst of the worst.

These are the worst of the worst.

These are the people who are
the bomb makers,

the bodyguards of Osama bin Laden,
the financers, the plotters,

the people who have been sent out to
be assassins, to be suicide bombers.

These are the worst of the worst.

The worst of the worst
is a big claim.

I can think of at least one person
who fits and who is not in there,

because apparently he still
is working for the Today Show.

But, who knows ?
While some detainees,

like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, have
earned that title, others have not.

If they were really all so terrible,
it's a little shocking

that we've released 710 detainees
over the years.

Leaked documents have revealed
that, out of the 212 Afghans there,

almost half were
in the assessments of US forces,

either entirely innocent,
mere Taliban conscripts,

or had been transferred to Guantanamo
with "no reason for doing so on file".

Some of the evidence against
detainees was surprisingly flimsy.

One piece of evidence they would use
to determine, Casio watches.

It's kind of a little bit arbitrary,

but anybody who was wearing
this particular brand of Casio watch

which was handed out
by al Qaeda to their fighters

because it was used as a timer
for setting off devices.

So anybody who happened
to have this very popular watch on

was picked up, a lot of them
ended up in Guantanamo Bay.

That's true. If someone
was caught wearing this Casio watch,

that could be used
as crucial evidence.

That makes this the only
time in history

anyone has actively sought out
a man wearing a Casio watch.

This is not to say that everyone in
Guantanamo is, or was, innocent.

There is justifiable concern
that, when we release someone,

they might go on
to fight against us.

The government claims that six percent
of those released under Obama

have been confirmed to have reengaged
in insurgent or terrorist activities,

and for those released by the Bush
administration, it's been 21%.

Some argue
those numbers are inflated,

even if they are,
they are not zero.

That is why politicians
like Dick Cheney

have taken a hardline position
that we should not let anyone go.

I'm more concerned with bad guys
who got out and released

than I am with a few that,
in fact, were innocent.

- You're okay with that error ?
- As long as we achieve our objective.

Yeah, but that is not reassuring.
The only objectives Cheney achieved

have been somehow serving
as president unofficially,

and managing to exist without
the need for a working heart.

There are divisions about what we
should do with remaining population.

You should know:
there's actually not that many left.

There are currently just
61 detainees down there.

That's less than the number
of people in our audience now.

Some of whom are arguably worse
people than some of the detainees.

They know it,
deep down they know it.

It's an odd thing to clap.
And you might think:

"why doesn't the president
put them on trial,"

"figure out which are guilty
and decide to close it ?"

It's not that simple, the 61 detainees
fall into three groups.

Ten of them are having their cases
handled by a military commission.

A legal process that we've
basically invented from scratch

it's so flawed that
of its 8 convictions so far,

four have been fully reversed
on appeal.

Another 20 are slated for release,
but are waiting for state department,

intelligence agencies and department
of defense to agree where to send them.

And that leaves us with
the trickiest group: the remaining 31,

who have not been charged, but
also not cleared to be released.

They are the real problem here.

Even the president doesn't
quite know what to do with them.

There's going to be
a irreducible number

that are going to be
really hard cases,

we know they've done something
wrong and they are still dangerous.

It's difficult to mount the evidence in
a traditional article three court.

Think about what he just said:
that is the president,

a man who has taught
constitutional law,

suggesting that for some detainees,
there is no clear path

toward a trial or an exit.

It's a group the administration has
called the "irreducible minimum",

sounds like a band that was
going to call itself "Absolute Zero",

but got into a fight about it
with their theremin player.

If you're wondering why he says
it's difficult to "mount the evidence",

what he means there is, in some
cases, there's not enough of it,

in others,
obtained through torture.

And there is a good reason
that that is inadmissible:

because people often say
anything to make torture stop.

If you gave me a purple nurple
for just ten seconds,

I would swear that my favorite
cereal is Grape Nuts,

and I'm fairly sure that that
cereal's original name was

"Good Morning Idiot,
Eat Some Cat Litter".

The point is,
how does the president,

who has spent a decade promising to
close Gitmo, plan to do that ?

It all depends on what your
definition of the word "close" is.

Closing Guantanamo at this stage,
in the Obama administration view,

is moving Guantanamo
to US soil.

The idea is to pick up
the last detainees

and move them to military
detention in the US,

what we call "Guantanamo North."

Yes, "Guantanamo North".
Or, as I'm sure it will be called

once they build a Whole Foods
there: "Gitmo-No".

Moving Guantanamo is not closing it.
Even that is not going to happen.

There's been congressional opposition
to moving any detainees to US soil,

and the people in charge seem
to be settling in for long haul.

We know that because a legal
document from last month

showed the current commander there,
proposes renovating their infirmary,

as it will be beneficial to the
continued care of the aging population.

So there might well be detainees
that we scooped up as young men,

who we think are guilty,
but who will never get a trial,

and they will be there
until they die.

And at this point,
we all have to ask ourselves:

are we okay with that ?

It does seem that more
than half of us are.

But I would argue that any potential
risk in putting detainees on trial,

losing that case, and having
to release them, is worth it.

For a few important reasons:
first, as it stands,

we are ceding so much
moral high ground

that Vladimir Putin feels comfortable
saying things like this.

They once said that they would
close Guantanamo. And what ?

Is it closed ? No.

There are still people
there walking in shackles.

That is medieval. Without a trial,
these people stay in prison.

Just imagine, it's incredible.

Can you imagine if we did that
here ? I can't wrap my head around it.

Yes, I am befuddled
by their behavior.

Luckily, here in Russia, the people
I do not like just disappear

for reasons nobody will ever know
and nobody needs to worry about.

But Guantanamo. It blows
my mind. Blows my mind.

While supporters of Guantanamo
argue that closing it

would be a sign of weakness,
I would argue it's an act of strength.

Listen to Lawrence Wilkerson,
Colin Powell's former chief of staff.

What do we do with them ?
Do we leave them there forever ?

As an American citizen
who is not a coward,

I'd be willing to release
them tomorrow morning

and face them on the battlefield
again if necessary.

But we've got a lot of cowards
in this country.

Exactly. When you see a bumper sticker
that says "freedom isn't free",

this is what that means:
standing up for our highest ideals

even when it requires accepting
a certain amount of risk.

When that bumper sticker is
displayed above a pair of truck nuts,

it's a good reminder that doing
something like that takes balls.

There is one
final thing to consider here.

Concept of Guantanamo
represents an opportunity

to operate outside the
boundaries of the law,

and that is way too tempting to have
at the government's disposal.

While you might be someone who
trusts President Obama's judgment,

remember:
he's on his way out now.

Meaning that the keys to Azkaban
will be handed over

to whoever succeeds him and there
is a possibility it's going to be him.

We're going to keep, as you know,
Gitmo, we're keeping that open.

We're gonna load it up with
bad dudes out there.

That's the point. If we don't shut
it down, future president Trump

could throw anyone
he doesn't like into Guantanamo.

And you might say: "He'd have
to come up with some pretext."

"And it couldn't be
an American citizen."

I've been shit-talking this
guy for the better part of a year

and I own a fucking Casio watch.

So we need to shut this shit
down now. And now, this.

And now, a look back at Billy Bush
being creepy with everyone.

How do you feel about your butt ?

- You did not just ask me that.
- I did.

I was in my pajamas all day
just walking around the house.

Slow down here, this is
the good one, yeah.

I was in my negligée.

You're the best looking girl.
Are you single or are you boyfriend ?

What's going on gorgeous ?
You are so beautiful !

An inappropriate question:

do you ever send intimate pictures
to one another on the phone ?

The talk right now, is your
dress, so. Let's get this going here.

That white number you wore the other
night, where were you...

At the People's Choice.

What's going on with the calorie
intake over here ladies ?

There's the lovely Nancy O'Dell,
working on her computer.

Let Uncle Bushy read
you guys a story, okay ?

Somebody take my picture quickly.

The best looking and the cutest
Disney Channel girl, you think ?

Probably Selena Gomez.

We made that call here, we think
he likes the exotic and the dark.

Selena, you're 17, if you don't
look good without makeup,

I'd pack it in,
same with Miley.

Some family jewelry right there.

Maybe a photo of your family jewels
to make sure you don't want that.

Moving on.

Finally tonight, we turn to Chechnya:
Russia's Florida,

in that it shares a border with Georgia
and doesn't seem to have any laws.

Its leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, is known
for its human-rights abuses,

his close ties to Vladimir Putin,
and his phenomenal Instagram page,

where you can see him
attempting to make out with a deer.

You can tell that even that
deer is thinking:

"I'll give you one kiss because
I'm a deer and I'm stupid,"

"but shouldn't you be running
a republic right now ?"

We talked about Kadyrov in May,
when he'd lost his cat,

and he was asking his people
to help him locate it.

We asked you to take photos
of any cats you saw,

and send them to Kadyrov, asking:
"Is this your cat ?"

Apparently he didn't find
that very funny,

because he Instagrammed this
image of me in a Putin t-shirt,

with the caption: "I'm tired of jokes.
I want to care for cats in Chechnya."

"By the way,
Putin is our leader !"

I'm tired of a great many jokes,
but asking Kadyrov "is this your cat ?"

is emphatically not one of them.

This week, I do have an update
for you on Kadyrov,

but it is not that he has found
his cat, he hasn't.

I'm guessing he's seeking comfort
in the old Chechen saying:

"every time Kadyrov
loses a pet,"

"the terrible forest wolves
gain a snack."

Something almost
as exciting happened to him.

The regions were electing new
leaders and local deputies.

The most convincing result was shown
by leader of Chechnya, Kadyrov.

He has more
than 97 percent of votes.

Yes, Kadyrov won reelection
with 97 percent of the vote.

Not 100%. 97. It's a gentleman's
dictatorial landslide.

Turkmenistan's leader was reelected
with 97 percent of the vote,

as was Egypt's el-Sisi,
and Syria's Bashir al-Assad

earned both his first and second term
with 97 percent.

That number seems to sum up
the tyrant's mindset perfectly.

I'm paranoid enough to know
that 100 percent is too high

and yet I'm delusional enough to
think 96 percent is a real nail-biter.

Kadyrov's reelection is by no means
the most eye-catching thing.

Because cat or no cat and, to be
absolutely clear, no cat,

Kadyrov has had himself
quite the summer.

A few weeks ago, he held a celebration
for Chechen Women's Day.

This is how
he was dressed for dinner.

Who wears a suit of armor to
a Women's Day dinner ?

Congratulations, ladies !
To honor you,

I am wearing clothing from an era
when you had no rights !

Serving wench ! Bring me my
Women's Day wine !

That was just the beginning.
Kadyrov has three young sons,

pictured here being hugged by
what is either Steven Seagal

or a tomato with a goatee,
it's unclear.

If you follow Kadyrov on Instagram,
which you really should,

you will know he has been training
his children in mixed martial arts.

And if his unlicensed boxing gym
for sweaty tots were not weird enough,

and it very much is, this week,
he staged a series of MMA fights

featuring each of his three sons,
as he sat there and watched.

I don't know what I find
more upsetting there:

the fact adults are cheering
on fighting children,

or the fact that any one of those
children could beat the shit out of me.

Wait, we're still not done here.
Because this week,

the same week he staged his
child's fight and was reelected,

Kadyrov launched
his own reality show.

We are inviting the most talented
people to the republic.

Those who want to work in the territory
of the republic of Chechnya

for the good of the people and
in the interests of our country.

If you are sure of yourself,
challenge yourself,

show that you are capable
of solving state scale tasks.

Gifted and ambitious leaders
from all over the country,

any sex and age, will go through
a rigorous recruitment process.

Only one will build the
future of Chechnya with Kadyrov.

Kadyrov has his own reality show,
contestants compete

to be the head of Chechnya's
strategic development agency

which might just mean spotting
an eight-year-old in the weight room.

But, the bigger picture here is,
I think I know what you're thinking:

an authoritarian nutcase
who wants to rule the land

has a reality show where people
compete to be his employee ?

That's the most ridiculous
thing I have ever...

I'm hearing it out loud, I get it,
never mind, let's move on.

I can make fun of Kadyrov,
until he murders me.

But you've got to admit:
he is living a dream right now.

He's got Chechnya's highest office,
his own reality show,

and he's got a level of power so great

that no one will tell him
not to stage televised child fights

or show up to dinner dressed like
the oldest Ren-fair enthusiast.

Kadyrov has everything he wants.
There are no words I could say

to remind him that
he is missing something.

Other than...

Ramzan Kadyrov,
I have a quick question for you:

Is this your cat ?

Is this your cat, Ramzan ?
I'm 97 percent sure that it is.

That's our show. Thank you.
See you next week. Goodnight !

There you go.
Yeah. Are you his cat ?

LAST WEEK TONIGHT
WITH JOHN OLIVER

END OF EPISODE 25,
SEASON III