Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014–…): Season 4, Episode 2 - Episode #4.2 - full transcript

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Welcome to Last Week Tonight.

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

We begin with President Trump.

Two words that will always sound
unnatural together,

like "fuckable clown"
or "Wolf Blitzer".

The reason we start with him is,
Trump dominates the news cycle

the way a fart dominates
the interior of a Volkswagen Beetle.

There is no escape from him.
Now just a case in point:

last night, Trump held
a pointless rally in Florida,

which got roadblock coverage
across cable news.

While his speech
was mostly boilerplate Trump,

the media is fake, Chicago is
a nightmare, I'm the greatest,

one thing warning about the danger
of refugees caught people's attention:

You look at what's happening
last night in Sweden.

Sweden, who would believe this.
They took in large numbers.

Having problems
like they never thought possible.

No ! What happened there ?

Did someone blow up Sweden's
most famous landmark,

and if they did, what was it ?

There was just one little
problem with what the president said

and this news clip sums it up:

We start with a plea from Sweden
to the US government,

asking what is your president
talking about ?

Yeah, it turns out,
there was no terror attack.

A quick message to all other
countries on earth:

you are going to find
yourself wanting to ask:

"what is your president
talking about a great deal ?"

The answer is almost always going
to be: "We have no fucking idea."

Trump admitted his comment
was in reference to a story

broadcast on FOX News
concerning immigrants and Sweden.

Sifting through Trump's brain
to see why he said something

is like examining a shark's
stomach to see what it ate.

There's a sea urchin,
a decomposed dolphin skull.

A FOX news segment on Sweden.
It's stuck in its throat.

Here is where we're at:
Trump can dominate the news

merely by referencing something
that didn't happen in Sweden.

This week has seen a great deal of
fascinating stories go under-covered !

The estranged half-brother
of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

poisoned as he waited for a flight.

That story is both incredible
and not entirely surprising.

If you're associated with Kim Jong Un,
your odds of being murdered

are around the same as if you live
in a town Jessica Fletcher visits.

Death follows that woman
wherever she goes.

I'll tell you why, because, and this
is true, she's a serial killer.

Hashtag Jessica Fletcher
is a serial killer.

It wasn't so much who was killed
that was surprising. It was how.

One of the two women accused
of carrying out the hit now says

she thought she was taking part
in a TV prank show.

Police say the suspect claims
she was paid to convince men

to close their eyes and she would
spray them with water as part of a gag.

With the last target,
Kim Jong Nam,

police believe the water
was secretly replaced with poison.

Holy shit. That is
a really harsh prank show.

You're dead
and you're a murderer ! I gotcha !

Actually, she got you, and we got
her, still: you're double pranked !

There is nothing that is not
fascinating about that story.

It didn't get
the attention it deserved.

The same is true of this story
you probably missed from Florida.

A Florida man behind bars

accused of plotting to blow up target
stores up and down the east coast.

According to the documents
the 48-year-old offered someone

10 000 dollars to put ten bombs
on the shelves inside Target stores,

warning not to let the boxes bounce
around or they would explode.

Barnett hoped the bombings would
send Target stock prices plummeting

so he could buy shares
on the cheap.

Magnificent. That story contains
homemade explosives,

a big store, an idiotic get-rich-quick
scheme and felony charges.

If it somehow also involved
a snake on meth,

you'd have full-on Florida bingo.

The stories don't stop there.
British Prime Minister Theresa May

went to see some children's
Lego robot creations

and this is the face she made.

If you're thinking:
"hold on that's unfair,"

"the camera caught
a split second there."

She also made this face
and then this face.

What is that ghastly
monstrosity, street rat ?

Did you create it
using your imagination ?

I thought we got rid of those
after we brexited. Scurry along rat !

In any other week, that face
would be the least diplomatic thing,

but this was also a week when Trump's
Ambassador to Somalia

presented that country's president
a hat: "Make Somalia Great Again"

and Trump took on the fraught
Israeli-Palestinian two-state solution

in the most casual possible way.

Looking at two-state and one-state and
I like the one that both parties like.

I'm very happy with the one
that both parties like.

If I may paraphrase
the people of Sweden for a second:

what the fuck
are you talking about ?

The people on each side who
want a one-state solution

generally cannot agree
on what state it should be.

No one's expecting them
to suddenly say:

"We agreed on one state
and it's Peru !"

"Shalom ! Salaam aleikum !
Welcome to Peru !"

But that is the problem: here we are,
talking about Trump again.

You cannot avoid him.
In the past week alone,

Trump designated the media
as enemies of the American people,

had his EPA-hating nominee
for head of the EPA confirmed,

lost his nominee for labor secretary
and his adviser,

signed a bill undoing Obama protection
for waterways from coal mining waste,

a signing that he capped off
with this wonderful gesture.

How about we give the pen
to the miners ?

That's perfect. Leave it to Trump
to give "seven people" one pen.

He must expect them to all share it,

like some kind of brotherhood
of the traveling pen.

That might be the laziest instance
of pen-gifting I've ever seen.

I'm including every other time
someone has given a pen as a gift.

Great. An expensive pen.
It's different than a regular pen

because I get to worry about losing it
and no other reasons.

Perhaps nothing summed up
Trump's week better

than his crazy press conference,

including this amazing exchange
with an African-American journalist.

Are you gonna include
the congressional black caucus...

I would. I tell you what: do
you want to set up the meeting ?

- No. I'm just a reporter.
- Are they friends of yours ?

The man is incredible.
What hits you first there

is the racism of assuming that
all black people are friends,

later you appreciate the sexism
of thinking all women are there

to perform secretarial tasks
for you.

The guy packs so much into so little.
His press conference was so unhinged

that many of the reporters
had the same initial response:

Yes, "wow". A presidential press
conference elicited the same reaction

you get from people who watched
someone shoot fireworks out of his ass.

Which when you think
about it is actually fitting.

When Trump speaks, what it is
essentially other than sparks, flames,

sputtering noisily
out of a damaged asshole.

And now, this.

Fox and Friends is painfully
aware of who is watching them.

I know Donald Trump is watching
and is up right now

so if you want us to check your
schedule, see if we have the same one.

Donald Trump watches this show,
tweet us this morning, let us know.

If he's watching, tweet us,
say we're going to Mars.

Donald Trump watches this show.

Trump watches every day,
like a groupie.

Trump probably
hasn't heard about it.

And we know that Donald Trump
watches this show,

so Donald, it's more than ISIS,
for example, Muslim Brotherhood.

Donald Trump is watching and
he doesn't love when you talk and eat.

I'll be very elegant.

I watched this morning,
and I have to say,

Fox & Friends in the morning,
they're very honorable people.

Moving on. Our main story
tonight concerns Russia.

The country that gave the world
Tetris, Merkins you wear on your heads

and potentially the 45th president
of the US.

Russia was at the center of a major
development in the US this week.

Michael Flynn resigning as
the US national security advisor.

This coming after reports that
the Justice Department warned

he could be vulnerable to blackmail

over communications he had
with the Russian Ambassador.

Check your office pools !
If you had "communication with Russia"

as the reason first member of Trump's
inner circle resigned, you win !

Shame, because my money was
on "never set foot in a public school"

or "President can't stop seeing
Melissa McCarthy when you speak".

But the Flynn debacle is just
the tip of the iceberg

regarding Trump Administration
and Russia.

Accusations swirling around
people in his campaign,

Paul Manafort and Carter Page,

evidence that Russia hacked the DNC's
emails to influence the election

and the infamous leaked dossier
alleging serious connections

between Trump and his associates
and Russia,

or as you remember it: "the thing about
the urine-fetish Moscow sex party".

There is no hard proof yet of direct
links between Trump and Russia.

But, he does have a weird, soft spot
for both the country and its leader.

I was in Moscow recently
and I spoke indirectly and directly

with President Putin,
who could not have been nicer.

Putin even sent me a present,
with a beautiful note.

It would be great if we could
get along with Russia.

You'll say: "Trump wants to get along
with Russia, this is terrible."

It's not terrible. It's good.

I'm not saying it's terrible
but I'm saying it's a bit weird.

You've being nicer to Vladimir Putin
than you have to Meryl Streep.

I'm sure is not an infamous autocrat

although if she tried it, she'd nail
it, the woman is the tour de force.

But the point is, Trump is fixated
on getting along better with Russia,

so tonight we thought we'd ask
what does that actually mean ?

What are the chances
of it happening

and what might we give up
in the process.

Here we think of Putin
as a cartoon character

who stages photo ops
where he's shirtless on a horse,

or swimming like a dolphin, emerging
from the sea like a Bond villain,

or winning a staring contest
with a baby chick,

or quite possibly
breaking a child's arm.

In Russia, he's not comic-book villain.
To many, he's a comic-book hero.

He is genuinely popular there.
For years, he's had his own pop song.

I want a man like Putin,
who's full of strength.

I want a man like Putin,
who doesn't drink.

I want a man like Putin,
who won't make me sad.

I want a man like Putin,
who won't run away.

That song has been stuck in my head
all week, I don't even speak Russian !

It's called "A Man Like Putin"

and it's all about how women
want someone like him.

That means they want a man
in his 60s, who has thinning hair

and who's probably about
5 foot 5.

The man they're saying they want is
essentially Richard Dreyfuss, but mean.

As for all those photo ops,
you'd be surprised how many Russians

look at those
and take them at face value.

Earlier this year Putin miraculously
recovered two ancient vases

from the bottom of the ocean.

Fortunately cameras were on hand
to capture this historic moment.

Lots of people go diving
and find nothing.

It is amazing that Putin found it.
It is a sign.

It's not a coincidence.
It's very significant.

Come on.
Not only is that clearly bullshit,

but contrived seaside photo ops
is the same publicity strategy

as Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston.

America had Hiddleswift. Russia
got Putlejug. Hashtag "putlejug".

Putin's popularity
is more surprising given that

his presidency has been shrouded
in accusations of corruption.

We have seen him enriching
his friends, his close allies.

And marginalizing those who he doesn't
view as friends using state assets,

whether that's Russia's energy wealth,
other state contracts,

he directs those to whom
he believes will serve him

and excludes those who don't.

I see. So Putin's friends depend
on him for their wealth.

That explains how he wound up once
going out dressed like this,

because any real friend
would tell him:

"Vladimir, I love you, but you cannot
pull off white denim."

You look like you're attending
the wedding of a yacht in 1991.

As a friend, get changed.

It's not just Putin's friends
who've become rich,

some estimates put Putin's personal
wealth anywhere from $40 to $85 billion

which would make him one
of the richest men in the world.

Although he strenuously denies it,
nothing about his finances adds up.

President Putin's official income
is around $100 000 a year,

and yet he lives like the super rich.

He has a collection
of expensive watches,

even his designer tracksuit
costs three thousand dollars.

What monster works out
in a $3000 tracksuit ?

The only acceptable reason
for owning a tracksuit that expensive

is if you recorded the 2002 hit
"Work It",

your name is Missy Elliott, and you are
not aware that other clothes exist.

That is it. I draw a line there.

For example of surprising wealth,
consider Putin's daughter.

She and her husband have
holdings worth around $2 billion,

which is a lot of money,
for someone who

is an academic-acrobatic
rock-and-roll dancer.

If you think we don't have footage
of her in action, you are mistaken.

First: cool.
And second...

A lot of people think
the most dangerous job in the world

is prison guard or fighter pilot,
but I'd like to put in a word for

"guy whose job is to throw Putin's
daughter way up in the air"

"and then hopefully catch her."

Maybe Vladimir Putin has just been
extraordinarily lucky in his life.

If so, it contrasts with the extreme
misfortune many of his critics

and opponents have suffered.

Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov
was shot dead.

Litvinenko, a former KGB
agent who turned on Putin,

died of radiation poisoning.

Journalist Anna Politkovskaya
was murdered on Putin's birthday.

The activist Vladimir Karamurza
was allegedly poisoned,

survived, only to be allegedly
poisoned again earlier this year.

This looks bad. But, again: maybe Putin
had nothing to do with any of that

and just got lucky,
maybe the guy has a rabbit's foot.

A freshly severed one,
but still, he's got one.

Other Putin adversaries
have a ended up disgraced

when sex tapes of them were
shown on TV or on the Internet.

A sex tape doesn't even need to be
real, as this man, Kyle Hatcher,

worked for the US state department
in Russia, discovered.

This undercover video of Hatcher
was posted on a Russian site

complete with background music.

Hatcher is seen in a Moscow
hotel room in his underwear,

then the lights are out in the room,

and a man and a woman appear to be
having sexual relations on the bed.

Hatcher told US officials
this is a fabrication.

That is obviously ridiculous.
But I do have some questions:

if someone releases a fake sex tape
of you, do you watch it ?

What if the fake you is better
at sex than the real you ?

I'm currently talking shit
about Putin on television,

so I'm expecting my fake sex tape
to come out any moment now.

I'm just interested, that's all.

Putin created an atmosphere in Russia
hostile to any oppositions.

Standing up to him can mean being
targeted by trolls, not just on-line.

When Garry Kasparov spoke at
a political opposition event,

he was interrupted
by radio-controlled flying dildos.

I have to say:
I kind of respect that deep down.

That takes real imagination,
initiative and planning.

What is less impressive, is what
Ilya Yashin claims happened to him.

I never expected this.

One after the other,
without being ashamed,

two thugs get onto the bonnet
of my car and take a dump.

Just imagine: the center of Moscow.
Children and their parents passing by.

I do understand being mad at someone
who has shit on your car,

but parents walking by
are not going to be offended.

Your response to seeing someone other
than your own kid take a dump in public

is "not my fucking problem."

Putin may or may not have
stolen billions of dollars,

may or may not have been involved
in the intimidation of his opponents.

There is so much that people suspect,
but can't quite prove.

In the same way that I suspect

Putin's genitals are just
a fist covered in thorns,

but I can't entirely say for sure.

I'm 98%,
I'm just not quite there.

But here is what we can say
about Putin without a doubt.

He annexed Crimea, imposed severe
fines and prison terms on protestors,

propped up the brutal Assad regime,
signed a harsh anti-gay propaganda law,

which many Russians supported,
which might not be that surprising

when you see shit like this
on state-sponsored TV.

Sodom and Gomorrah were burnt
with the rain of sulphurous fire.

Since that time, the real name of
homosexuals, just so you know,

is not gays, but sodomites.

God does not tolerate the filth and sin
that may consume the entire world.

We need to resist to stay alive.

Now, to give you just a sense
of just how anti-gay Russian TV is,

their most popular makeover show
features five straight guys

and is called
"That Jacket Looks Fine".

That is Russia under Vladimir Putin.

Our president wants
to get along better with him.

I'm not saying America
hasn't cozied up

to regimes
with hideous human rights records.

I will not mention names, but
Saudi Arabia knows who they are.

There is something alarming about how
easy Trump makes this all sound.

If our country got along with Russia,
that would be a great thing.

Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing,
if we got along with Russia ?

Wouldn't it be great if
we got along with Russia ?

Wouldn't it be nice
if we got along with Russia ?

Wouldn't it be wonderful ?
Wouldn't it be nice ?

Wouldn't it be nice if we got along
as an example with Russia.

It would also be nice if you could
walk right up to a bear and hug it.

That would be really nice.
But unfortunately, it's not that easy.

Negotiating anything with Putin
is going to be way more difficult

than Trump seems to think.

Putin spent his early life as a spy
for Russia in East Germany,

where he mastered
manipulating foreigners.

I'm not saying that Trump
isn't at his level.

Watch what happened last year,
when Bill O'Reilly tried to game out

how Trump would respond to Russian
planes buzzing US warships.

I would say: "Do not do that.
That's provocation."

Right. But if he did, you would have
to shoot one of those planes down.

I may have to do something which
you would hate to do.

But this is something
I wouldn't want to do.

I would say: "Vladimir, don't do it.
Let's go. Come on."

We're gonna have
a good relationship. Don't do it.

That is embarrassing.
He is using the tone of a dog owner

failing to stop a spaniel
peeing on the rug:

"Waggles, don't do it.
Let's go. Come on, Waggles."

"We're gonna have a good relationship.
Don't do it, Wags. Don't do it."

Trump has already given Putin
something absolutely massive

and he may not even realize it yet.

Putin is actually a little bit weaker
than you think at the moment.

His economy is struggling,
not great news for an autocrat

who may have stolen billions
from his own people.

But he is still very popular,

in part because he deflects criticism
onto the US.

Not just to dodge blame,
but to delegitimize our ability

to claim the moral high ground.

Russians love it when America
points a finger at him,

and he points it right back.

When he was asked about suppressing
dissent in Russia,

he changed the subject
to problems in America.

You believe that everything is perfect
from the point of view of democracy ?

If everything was perfect, there
would be no problem like Ferguson.

There would be no other problems
of a similar nature.

There would be
no abuse by the police.

This is the same case in Russia,
a lot of problems.

Yeah, but not all problems
are the same.

It's like comparing "La La Land",
an Academy Award nominated movie,

to "The Human Centipede",
a thing that barely counts as a film.

Yes, one movie is people
sewn mouth-to-anus,

but Ryan Gosling looks at his feet
when he dances, so it all evens out.

This message: "if things are bad here,
know they're just as bad in America"

that is a key Putin technique.

Russian state media spent a good part
of last year insisting

that the US election was rigged
and they did this for a clear reason.

What does the Kremlin
want to put in Russians' heads ?

There is no real democracy
in the world.

This will be the opportunity to show
that they do the same thing.

- We're no worse than they are.
- Yes, exactly.

So that is the official line: "you're
shit, we're shit, everything's shit."

"Never try for a better world
because it doesn't exist."

I think it's also the working title
of every Russian novel ever written.

You would expect "America's elections
are rigged" to be standard Putin line.

What changed last year though

was that he had a major American
candidate saying the same thing.

And if you think that
that played into Putin's hands,

imagine how happy he was to then
see the president of the US

take his moral equivalence
argument and just run with it.

Putin's a killer.

We've got a lot of killers.
You think our country's so innocent ?

I don't know government
leaders that are killers in America.

Take a look
at what we've done, too.

Holy shit.

The only way he could sound
any more like Vladimir Putin

is if he said all that
in a fucking $3000 tracksuit.

Trump is basically the propagandist
of Putin's dreams.

Who knows
why he's acting this way ?

Maybe he's compromised.
Maybe he's an idiot.

Since the president of the US won't
stick up for this country, I will:

America and Russia are not
the fucking same.

America has had and continues to have
endemic problems that need fixing.

That might as well be
the title of this show.

But hold on. 'Cause our elections
have flaws, but they are not rigged.

Our human rights record
is far from perfect,

but it does not compare
to Putin's Russia.

Our press is at least currently free
enough that I can routinely do this.

Donald Trump,
America's wealthiest hemorrhoid.

America's walking,
talking brush fire.

Rome burning in man form.

An suit full of
chickens coming home to roost.

Twitter's id made manifest.
This sentient circus peanut.

A racist voodoo doll made
of discarded cat hair.

A clown made of mummified foreskin
and cotton candy.

A piece of candy corn in a wig
made of used medical gauze.

A bag with cheeseburgers
and confederate belt buckles.

A luggage
covered in Cheez Whiz.

A kidney on the floor
at a Super Cuts.

He is what happens if
The Secret gets into the wrong hands.

Yeah, I've talked a lot of shit.

And to his credit, Trump
has not had me murdered. Yet.

There is still time. Trump has
already given Putin a lot,

without realizing it,
but Putin wants more.

Experts say that he likely wants
an end to US sanctions,

for us to endorse
his pro-Assad position in Syria,

and to let him weaken NATO, and to
recognize his annexation of Crimea.

All of which would be against
American interests and values.

If unchecked, Trump may trade any
or all of that away in exchange

for "getting along better",
whatever the fuck that means.

So someone needs quickly
to get into Trump's ear

and educate him in how realistic
getting along better with Putin is.

Our Catheter Cowboy
cannot do it in thirty seconds.

We've put together an explanation
guaranteed to stick in Trump's mind,

in the catchiest possible
form: shitty techno music.

A man like Putin may seem
like he's strong,

But if you think that,
know that you're wrong.

A man like Putin sure has good luck

Because journalists die,
and he's rich as fuck.

A man like Putin only wants power.

He'll fake a tape
of your golden shower.

That's not something we want to see,
your orangey face all covered in pee.

And critics like Oliver better run far,
because he'll track you down,

And he'll shit on your car.

No ! Do not shit on my car !
That is weird. It's so weird.

If anything it might be the
weirdest part of this whole story.

Don't shit on my car.
Please, don't do it.

Sorry, you were telling
the president about Putin. Go.

Beware of Putin,
he's ruthless and shrewd.

If you're not careful,
we'll all end up screwed.

A man like Putin is really bad,
that you need that explained is so sad.

That's our show,
thank you so much for watching.

We'll see you next week,
good night !