Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014–…): Season 3, Episode 30 - President-Elect Trump - full transcript

John Oliver talks about the election results.

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Welcome to Last Week Tonight !

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

Let us begin with our first
and only story: the 2016 election.

As you may know it: "Now that
it's over I wish it was still going on"

"'cause it turns out the ending
is even worse" 20-fucking-16."

The results on Tuesday
were a little different

than what just
over half the voters wanted.

We can project the winner
of the presidential race.

Donald Trump wins the presidency.

Donald J. Trump will become the 45th
president of the United States.

It's true ! That happened !

Instead of showing our daughters
that they could be president,

America proved
that no grandpa is too racist

to become
the leader of the free world.

"Look, Papa !
Someday that could be you !"

If you are like me, the implications
have been hitting you in waves.

One minute you're numb,
the next you realize that Donald Trump,

this man, will soon have access
to the nuclear codes.

Then you get distracted by daily life,
until it hits you again:

our future president was supported
by a former grand wizard of the Klan,

and 60 million people
voted for him despite that.

And then maybe you manage
to get some sleep.

But then you wake up realizing
"Shit ! The Supreme Court !"

Because remember Merrick Garland ?

Who the Republicans have refused
to confirm all year ?

The guy whom we asked you to choose
a Supreme Court dog for ?

You picked this one, by the way.
We never announced it,

because we figured that we would
tell you when he was confirmed.

He's not getting confirmed,
and that dog is dead now.

Not really. She's fine.
But she's not getting on the court.

Donald Trump will fill that seat.
And maybe more.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is in her 80s,
Anthony Kennedy is, is over 80.

There are other justices who've talked,
bandied about the idea of retiring.

Donald Trump is going to shape
the Supreme Court for decades.

That is one of those phrases you
assumed you would never have to hear.

Like "Vanilla Ice is picking up
his Nobel Prize in physics"

or "Henry Kissinger just came out
with a line of skinny jeans."

They go with everything.

It has been wave after
wave of nausea all week.

I woke up on Thursday
feeling fractionally better,

but then I saw Trump in the oval office
with President Obama.

Look at the president's face !

He cannot believe
what he's looking at, either.

In fact, just listen
to the actual audio in that room.

Fun fact: that is the new
national anthem now. You see ?

We're laughing ! We're having fun !
And then you remember:

Trump's going to be in
charge of the military

and leaders there
do not know what to expect.

They have seen Donald Trump's
statements on the campaign trail,

talking about waterboarding, bombing
with no regard to civilian casualties

talking about taking the oil in Iraq.

These things potentially very serious
violations of international law,

violations of the Geneva Convention.

Yes: our president-elect
has at various times

said he'd bomb civilians,
loot oil, and waterboard,

which isn't a military strategy
so much as the series of words

that Donald Rumsfeld mutters so he
can stay hard while he's masturbating.

And, look !
Trump won this election.

By which I mean he won
the Electoral College,

which, for reasons I will never
understand, is how things are done.

And many people,
it's important to remember,

many people are happy
to see him in office.

Some voters think he'll bring jobs back,
and shake up Washington.

Others are happy
because he isn't Hillary Clinton.

And others, of course,
are Vladimir Putin and Scott Baio.

But for the rest of us, we are faced
with the same questions

as a guy that woke up the day
after a Vegas bachelor party,

deep in the desert, naked,
tied to a cactus and a dead clown.

"how the fuck did we get here ?"

"what the fuck do we do now ?"

Because Donald Trump
will be president.

And respecting democracy
means accepting that.

Although there is one sentiment that I
would argue takes that a little too far.

The man hasn't even been
a president for a day yet.

- Let's give him a chance !
- Give Donald Trump a chance.

We have to give him a chance.

The people should give him a chance
because if he succeeds we succeed.

Now, in the broadest sense,
I get that impulse.

Hope for the best
in the face of very long odds.

It's like we're on a plane and we just
found out our pilot is a wombat.

I don't like this,
I don't understand how it happened,

and I'm pretty sure
we're headed for disaster,

but what the hell:
come on, Batty, prove me wrong !

And the thing is,
optimism is nice if you can swing it.

But you've got to be careful !

It can feed into
the normalization of Donald Trump.

And he is not normal.
He is abnormal.

He's a human
"what is wrong with this picture ?"

He sticks out like a sore thumb
and he even looks like a sore thumb.

So giving him a chance

in the sense of not speaking out
against policies that he's proposed

is dangerous,
because some of them are alarming.

Just some of Trump's promises:
repeal and replace Obamacare.

Build a wall along
the southern border with Mexico

and get Mexico to pay for said wall.

Deport all 11-12 million undocumented
immigrants in USA, including children,

appoint a prosecutor to investigate
and potentially jail Hillary Clinton,

temporarily ban Muslims and
immigrants from terror-prone nations

from coming into the US.

Stop ! It sounds like you're reading
the to-do list on Satan's refrigerator.

Which Satan no longer needs,
now that Hell has frozen over.

While some are arguing that Trump
might not have meant all those things,

that leaves us
with two devastating options:

we elected a president
who didn't mean a single word he said.

Or, we elected one who did.
And it's impossible to know which one.

He did his first
major post-election interview,

and he was asked about Obamacare,
which he had labeled a disaster.

When you replace it,
are you going to make sure

that people with pre-conditions
are still covered ?

Yes. It happens to be
one of the strongest assets.

Also, with the children living with
their parents for an extended period.

- You're going to keep that ?
- Yes.

Get ready for a barely changed version
of Obamacare called "Trumpcare",

which sounds like a health care plan
where doctors

feel your breasts for lumps
whether you asked them to or not.

Don't get complacent that he's going
to keep those aspects of Obamacare

he might change his mind
on that again.

Trump is like a magic 8 ball.

Every time you shake him
he gives you a different answer.

Sometimes the answer
is "big league"

or "that's some body
on my daughter, right ?"

So, we have to take
all of Trump's promises seriously.

And the truth is,
they were not all universally bad.

For instance: he ran on a promise
to "drain the swamp",

cracking down on corruption and ending
the reign of Washington insiders.

Let's try and be positive.
What are the early signs on that ?

Some of the potential cabinet members
that are being reported by CNN...

Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich,
Chris Christie. Reince Priebus.

That's the long-time head of the RNC,

a former Speaker
who entered Congress in 1979,

a former mayor
turned professional asshole,

and a man whose name
is more synonymous with scandal

than Shonda fucking Rhimes.

That is so swampy, you're gonna
need to swap out Air Force One

for one of those shallow-bottom
boats with a big fan on the back.

And the thing is, it actually makes
sense for Trump to appoint people

with significant experience
in government.

Until a few days ago,
the highest office he'd ever held

was on the 26th floor of a shitty
building on Fifth Avenue.

But some of the people
he's bringing in are horrifying.

His transition team includes
people like Ken Blackwell,

who has argued
that homosexuality is a choice,

and he's named Myron Ebell
to lead his EPA transition team,

making him a frontrunner
for administrator, despite this.

The whole case for global warming,
I believe, is silly,

and I believe the vast majority
of scientists think it's silly,

and I'm a little embarrassed
that I waste my time on a silly issue.

First of all,
the vast majority of scientists

believe humans
are contributing to climate change.

And secondly, this man
does not have a science degree.

He wouldn't even be qualified to head
the Agency of Baking Soda Volcanoes.

So, how the fuck did we get here ?

There are many possible answers
to that question,

including misleading forecasts
that bred complacency,

a flawed candidate who failed to appeal
to white rural and workingclass voters,

and this is worth repeating
deep racism and/or indifference to it.

And for those, including us,
who were shocked by Tuesday,

we're going to be examining
all this for years.

But let's look at one narrow element
that may've helped bring us here,

because it will be important
going forward, and that is our media.

How a system that is supposed
to catch a serial liar, failed.

And I'm not just referring
to mainstream TV news,

although some did wait far too long
to take Trump seriously,

giving him billions
of dollars' worth of free media.

CNN, for instance, sometimes ran
his speeches almost in their entirety.

Their president, Jeff Zucker,

admits that might not have been
such a great idea.

I'd say that if we made
a mistake last year,

it's that we probably did put on
too many of his campaign rallies

in those early months,

unedited and just let them run.

And I think we probably
shouldn't have done that as much.

It turns out hindsight, much like
the year we're looking forward to,

is 20-20.

It's not to say that there wasn't
great coverage of Trump,

from outlets like the Washington Post
and the New York Times.

Even CNN began correcting Trump
in lower-third graphics, such as...

"Trump: 'I never said Japan should
have nukes,' parentheses, he did."

And that is good journalism.

If I gave a speech
saying I'm the sexiest man alive,

it would be fair to tag that
with "parentheses: 'Look at him'".

That's a mean joke to laugh at.

But the problem is...
The impact of corrections like that,

which may have sunk a candidate
in another era, was compromised.

Because there is no longer
a consensus on what a fact is.

Trust in mainstream media outlets
has been falling.

People can get their news from echo
chambers that validate their views.

There is nothing wrong
with media that has a viewpoint.

We fact-check everything we say,
but I don't pretend to be neutral

on things like criminal justice reform,
I'm for it.

Coldplay. I'm against it.

Or DeWalt ladders. They're a seamless
blend of style and performance.

Walking up one is like ascending
to heaven on a golden cloud.

I'm not being paid to say that,
I'm just a fan.

But, a healthy media diet
has to be broader than that.

Unfortunately, the way that many of us
consume news now is micro-targeted.

62 percent of Americans say
they get their news from social media.

According to Pew Research,
44% of all adults

say they get news from Facebook.

That's true, news is now one of the 3
things that we get from social media,

the other two being
"our entire sense of self-worth"

and pictures of shaved alpacas.

And, fake facts circulate
on social media to a frightening extent.

You may have seen this quote from
Trump about Republicans being dumb.

He never said that, it's not true.

Just as it's not true
that the pope endorsed Trump.

Because of course he didn't.

But that story was shared almost
a million times. Which is absurd.

Everybody knows the candidate
the pope endorsed was Joe Exotic.

They have very similar views
on deregulating tiger preserves.

Please share this news
a million times.

There is a whole cottage industry
specializing in hyperpartisan,

sometimes wildly-distorted clickbait.

Buzzfeed News researched sites
like "Addicting Info" on the left

and "Freedom Daily" on the right,

both of which have over a million
followers on Facebook,

putting them in the same range
as Anderson Cooper 360.

Some were publishing many viral
articles containing flat-out falsehoods.

Over two weeks, 38% of news on some
Republican-leaning Facebook pages

was partly or completely false,
compared to 19% of news

shared on some Democrat-leaning

Before you say:
"Republicans are twice as bad",

19 percent is still terrible.

And it is not news that there is
misinformation on Facebook.

Just look at the relationship status
"it's complicated",

the accurate version would be:

"in three weeks I'll be single,
but I can't admit it yet."

These sites can warp
your views pretty fast.

Your news feed may've been full
of The Times and The Post's stories

about Trump's actual scandals,
but many Americans

logged onto Facebook every day
and saw shit like this.

This cesspool of nonsense
would be a problem anyway,

were it not for the fact that one
of the people enthralled to it

is our future president.

In March, he claimed that a man
who'd rushed the stage at his rallies

had ties to ISIS, something
that had circulated online

and had been found to be untrue.

And when that was pointed out
to him, this was his response.

There's no ties to ISIS for this man,
no law enforcement official,

and this video
appears to be a hoax.

All I know
is what's on the Internet.

Okay, here's the thing,

"being on the internet"
is not a high bar for accuracy.

If I edited Wikipedia to say
that Dianne Wiest's real name

is "Dianne Frosted Mini-Wiest",

our next president would
believe that to be true.

During the campaign, Trump
routinely used his platform

to share incorrect information.

Fellow conservatives tried to point
out how irresponsible this was.

You tweeted out
that whites killed by blacks,

these are statistics you picked up
from somewhere,

at a rate of 81%.

And that's totally wrong.
Whites killed by blacks is 15%.

Bill, am I gonna check
every statistic ?

I get millions of people

You're a presidential contender,
you gotta check it.

Fine, but this came out of radio
shows and everything else.

"I got it from radio"

is maybe the weirdest nonsense
explanation I've ever heard,

like if someone said:
"this sandwich tastes weird"

and you said:
"but I found it in a hole !"

"If there's something wrong with it,
what was it doing sitting in a hole ?"

And that is the evil genius
at work here.

Weird conspiracy bullshit has always
been bubbling under the surface,

but Trump was the first major
candidate to harness and legitimize it.

And it's in hindsight. He came along
and told millions of people:

"every crazy email you've ever
forwarded was true".

And that, at least in part, is why
he will be our next president.

And to their credit, some
Republican lawmakers

were calling him out on this
during the campaign.

I'm going to tell you what
I think of Donald Trump:

this man
is a pathological liar.

Doesn't know the difference
between truth and lies.

He was just right.

Before you think Republicans
might now stand up to Trump,

I will remind you that
Ted Cruz, like many others,

not only said he'd vote
for Trump, but was doing this.

Hi, this is Ted Cruz.

I was calling to encourage you
to vote on Election Day.

That is hard to watch !

Hi, this is Ted Cruz, calling to
remind you to vote for a man

who insulted my wife and said
my dad helped kill JFK.

Life has no meaning,
thank you, I want to die.

Take care now ! God is dead !
Buh-bye !

Buh-bye now, buh-bye.

There is very little holding
Trump back.

Remember: in January,
he will be sworn into office.

And there is another wave
of nausea for you.

It hits you in small
ways and large doesn't it ?

Had you considered
that portraits of Trump

are going to be hanging
in our airports ?

Or that the man who disparaged
a Gold Star family

will now be expected to comfort
the families of fallen soldiers ?

Maybe you've tried
to feel better,

fantasizing he might Google "how
much does the president get paid,"

get depressed and resign.

But that is when you remember
Mike fucking Pence.

Who might be even worse.
He looks like he's from the 1950's,

but he thinks
like he's from the 1650's.

What's that ? Her pregnancy
was terminated before birth ?

Clearly she's a witch.
Hold a funeral for the fetus

and throw the mother in a lake.

I know this is all depressing,
but it does bring us back

to the question:
"what the fuck do we do now ?"

And for the record, the answer
is not "move to Canada".

The only excuse
to ever migrate to Canada

is if you were born there originally,
it's springtime and you are a goose.

That's it. That is it.

We're gonna need
to stay here and fight.

And not just politically in four
years, when he's up for re-election,

but constantly, monitoring legislation
as it moves through congress

and voting when your legislators
come up for re-election in two years.

That is still below the minimum
of what is going to be needed.

For the last eight years,
we've had a president

we could assume would generally
stand up for the rights of Americans.

But that is going to change now.

We're going to have to actively
stand up for one another.

And it can't be just sounding off
on the Internet

or sharing think pieces or videos like
this that echo around your bubble.

I'm talking about sacrifice to support
people who are now under threat.

If you can afford
the time or money,

support organizations
that are going to need help

under a Trump administration.

If you're concerned about women's
health, donate to Planned Parenthood

or the Center
for Reproductive Rights.

If you don't believe manmade
global warming is a silly issue,

donate to the National Resources
Defense Council.

If you don't think refugees
are a terrorist army in disguise,

donate to The International
Refugee Assistance Project.

Also given
these guys' track record,

I would recommend donations
to The NAACP legal defense fund,

the Trevor Project for LGBTQ youth

and the Mexican American Legal
Defense and Educational Fund.

That last one would be perfect
if your compassion for Latinos

goes beyond occasionally
eating a fucking taco bowl.

Do check the box for recurring
donations if you can,

this is not a short-term problem.

I'll give you just a dash
of fun here, I will point out:

if you have relatives
who supported Trump,

you can give money in their name.

So, consider your holiday
shopping this year done.

Happy holidays, Nana.
The Trevor Project thanks you.

There's one more group that
I would single out for help here

and that is the press.

Trump is a masterful denier of
both reality and responsibility.

He would kick you in the nuts and
tell you that your penis did it.

So the press
is going to face challenges,

not because Trump's chief strategist
is Steve Bannon of Breitbart news,

but also because of yet another
promise that Trump made.

If I become president,
do they have problems !

I'm going to open up
our libel laws

so when they write purposely negative
and horrible and false articles,

we can sue them
and win lots of money.

We're going to open up
those libel laws.

First, there is no federal
libel law for Trump to open up.

As many supposed recipients
of Trump's gifts might tell you,

you can't open something up
if it doesn't exist.

But that attitude of punishing
the press is worrisome

now that he is going
to be president.

Instead of sharing partisan memes
found on "republigoofs dot redneck"

and "democrappy dot cuck",
you need to support actual journalism

by buying a subscription to outlets
like the Times, or the Post.

Or donating to Propublica, a nonprofit
with great investigative journalism.

If we don't get involved to at least
mitigate Trump's damage,

things will not be okay.

Yes, the sun will rise each day, but
the continuing rotation of the earth

should not be your baseline
expectation of American society.

I need to ask you
one more thing:

it'll be too easy
for things to start feeling normal,

especially if you are not
directly impacted by his actions.

Keep reminding yourself,
this is not normal.

Write it on a post-it note and
stick it on your refrigerator.

Hire a sky writer once a month.
Tattoo it on your ass.

A Klan-backed, misogynist,

is going to be delivering
the next state of the union address.

And that is not normal,
it is fucked up.

And the only thing that gives me
one degree of comfort

is that I think part of Trump
might be realizing that now, too.

Look at his face after
meeting with Paul Ryan

and getting a glimpse of what
this job actually entails.

Here is the genuine audio
from that moment.

I feel the same. I don't know
what happens from here.

This is our final show of the year.
And normally, on our last show,

we mash up elements from the season
and dance around in the studio.

But that doesn't seem
appropriate tonight.

Not just because of the election,

but because 2016 has been
an uncommonly shitty year.

From the ongoing crisis in Syria,
to Zika, to Ryan Lochte being a douche,

to a seemingly
endless string of celebrity deaths

including, just this week,
Leonard Cohen.

We've put something together about
how awful this year has been,

we started it a while ago, but it now
feels more prescient than ever.

Because even though this year
still has seven weeks left,

I'm calling it early: 2016
has been the fucking worst.

Thank you for watching, enjoy
this tribute to a truly terrible year.

Let's face it. 2016 has been
one calamity after another

and while it will be remembered
for the giant calamity we witnessed,

we shouldn't lose sight of the other
ways this has been a shitty year.

If we could erase 2016 off
the calendar, it'd be perfect.

Pretty rotten year.
Most people would admit that.

It totally blew. It was awful.

This world is feeling scarier,
it's feeling colder.

For EU,
it was a really crap year.

The Brexit was kind of a mess.

Hatred to a lot of groups,
that's been the staple of this year.

Syrian refugee crisis.
Pretty terrible.

Lots of sexism being blatant.

It's disgusting what the city
of Flint did to its residents.

The New York Jets suck.
Yankees missed the playoffs.

I didn't like Kevin Durant
going to Golden State.

A chicken-shit move.

Some asshole
stole my watch in Miami.

I got broken up with.
Pretty shitty.

Had a girlfriend for three years,
broke up with me.

My landlord is shit.

Met Bruce Willis a week ago, ask him
for picture and he said no.

My son is at puberty
and being a pain in the ass.

I got all mauled up by a dog,
the cherry on top of a shitty year.


Never forget Harambe.

Harambe's listening. Took shots,
we should take shots for him.

Too many deaths.

Prince is my man. I miss Prince.

I mean, that was just...

The worst is
the David Bowie's death.

David Bowie.
What the fuck ?

That was my big one.

Phife Dawg, man.
Shout out to Q-Tip, man.

Tribe Called Quest.
I grew up on that.

Muhammad Ali
was one of the biggest.

What he represents for blacks,
that's a huge deal.

Move like a butterfly,
sting like a bee.

Gene Wilder.

Alan Rickman.
Fucking Snape dude.

Man, this year did suck.

Fuck 2016.

Fuck you, 2016.

Fuck 2016.

Fuck you, 2016.
Bad year. Shit year.

2016, this is for you.

Fuck 2016.
Fuck it a lot.

Fuck 2016.
And fuck Donald Trump.

Fuck 2016.

CNN won't let me say this on New
Year's Eve, but get fucked, 2016.

Fuck 2016.

Fuck 2016.

What is this, mayonnaise ?
Fuck 2016.

Fuck you, 2016.

Fuck you, 2016.

2016, fuck off.

2016 falls well below
my standards of quality.

Fuck 2016.

Fuck you, 2016.

2016, go punch yourself
in the dick.

Fuck this year.

Fuck you, 2016.

Fuck John Oliver.

2016, fuck you. And hey, 2017,
fuck you, too. I hate you already.

Fuck you, 2016.

You're asking me ?
Fuck 2016.

Fuck 2016.

2016, from the bottom
of my heart, go fuck yourself.

Fuck you, 2016. Fuck. You.

That's our show.
Thanks so much for watching.

Let's all try harder next year.
Good night.