Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014–…): Season 5, Episode 1 - Trump vs. The World - full transcript

John Oliver depicts how the world see America now in the era of Trump presidency. America's image is being compromised by its very own president. Not only comedians but also the world ...

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LAST WEEK TONIGHT
WITH JOHN OLIVER

Season V
Episode 1

Welcome to Last Week Tonight.
I'm John Oliver.

Thank you for joining us.
We are back, which is exciting,

although we must begin
by addressing Wednesday's events

in Parkland, Florida, where another
school shooting left 17 dead

and many injured.

These events are now so familiar
we know how each side will play out:

"thoughts, prayers,"
"fuck your thoughts and prayers,"

"a mental health problem,"
"also a gun problem."

Someone says: "not the time
to talk about gun control"



everyone moves on until
it happens again.

But this time felt different,

because when the "now's not
the time" argument came out,

the kids from that school said:
"you know what ? Yes it fucking is."

They have us thinking
this is inevitable

and we can't do anything
to stop it, it's too difficult.

We're done with that.

Someone who isn't allowed
to buy alcohol legally

is allowed to buy a war weapon,
where does that make sense ?

They say no laws could have prevented
the hundreds of tragedies occurred.

We call B.S.

That we're too young to understand
how the government works.

We call B.S.

If you agree, register to vote.
Contact your local Congress people.



Give them a piece of your mind.

We call B.S.

It's ironic that the people acting with
the most maturity in this situation

aren't even old enough to say
"bullshit" in front of their parents.

Those kids announced
a march next month,

challenging adults to participate in
a real conversation about gun violence.

But they will be up against it.
When one adult was asked

about whether Republicans would
take notice of these kids' concerns,

this was his response.

We have a culture thing here
that we're not discussing.

When I grew up it was Andy Griffith
and you never had school shootings,

we still had prayer in school and we
drove to school with guns in the car.

I would see students that did that.
Today we are in a different time

when movie industry, rap industry,
radio in general,

talks about these things
that are common now.

Now we have to worry about kids
eating Tide Pods instead of discipline.

What ?
I call B.S. on that.

There are many things wrong there,
from the "rap industry"

to the Tide Pods to the fact that
that man was born in 1969,

a year after The Andy Griffith Show
went off the air.

Which means that he may
never have seen it,

not only did Sheriff Andy Taylor
not carry a gun,

he was happy to explain why.

When a man
carries a gun all the time,

the respect he thinks he's getting
might really be fear,

so I don't carry a gun, I don't want
the people of Mayberry to fear a gun,

I'd rather they would respect me.

The sheriff has got a point and
people of Mayberry "did" respect him,

despite the fact that
he ate Tide Pods all the time.

The Trump administration
had another chaotic week,

from Mueller's Russia indictments
to questions surrounding Porter

and who knew about
his alleged domestic violence,

to Trump's newly-reported affair
with a former Playboy model

a different sordid affair from that
other you might be thinking of.

The rest of the world also had
a politically chaotic week.

And so for a palate cleanser,
let me give you a quick tour of them.

Let's start in South Africa.
Paul Simon's black friend.

Their president the legendarily
corrupt Jacob Zuma, stepped down

following years of scandal.

So will they miss him there ?
Listen to what happened when his name

was mentioned by his successor
and watch the signlanguage interpreter

really read the room.

I wish to extend a word of gratitude
to former president Jacob Zuma.

I want that woman in the corner
of everything I watch.

State of the Union ?
I want her there.

A figure skater falling ?
I want her there.

Jack dies on "This Is Us" ?
I want her there.

You went back into the house
for the dog, Jack ?

Fuck the dog, you've got kids, Jack !
Boo Jack !

Wasn't just South Africa experiencing
turmoil. Look at Australia:

70% uninhabitable because of
deserts, 30% because of Australians.

We talked about their Deputy
Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, before,

he threatened to euthanize Depp's
imported dogs, Pistol and Boo.

Joyce is a social conservative who
opposed same-sex marriage

because he believes
in traditional family values,

and you can probably see
where this is going.

Barnaby Joyce, facing the public
over a private matter.

He's pleading for privacy after
News Corp published photographs

of his former media adviser now
heavily pregnant with his child.

You might think that that is
hypocritical, but in reality,

Joyce has such family values,
he can't restrict them to one family.

Media jumped on this story
like a Deputy Prime Minister

with a wife and four children jumping
on his 33 year-old media advisor,

and they even tracked down
the father of his girlfriend,

who is not thrilled
with Barnaby's behavior.

The man who could be
his future father in law

says he wants the Deputy Prime
Minister roasting on a spit.

Peter Campion
is bristling with anger.

I think the Deputy PM on a spit
would be quite a sight.

That might be the most Australian man
who has ever lived.

In Australia,
they don't have Santa Claus,

they just have that guy
coming down your chimney,

and whether you've been bad or good,
he beats you with a newspaper.

The final stop on our tour
de scandal, Israel.

The thing you bring up when
your friends are the same party,

but you still want
to have an argument.

This week brought a new scandal
for Israel's leader.

Israeli police are recommending
that Benjamin Netanyahu

be indicted
on two corruption cases.

Claims that Netanyahu accepted
money from a Hollywood producer

and offered preferential treatment
to a publisher for positive coverage.

They also charged that he accepted
lavish gifts from wealthy friends,

including nearly $300 000 worth
of cigars and champagne.

Netanyahu and his wife
do have famously extravagant tastes.

She has been dubbed
"Israel's Marie Antoinette",

which is both a harsh criticism and
a chic bat mitzvah theme.

But the details
of their spending are striking.

They've been accused of spending
$1 700 of taxpayer money on candles,

$2 700 just
on high-end ice cream,

and in 2013, Netanyahu spent
$127 000 installing a double bed

on a plane he'd chartered to
attend Margaret Thatcher's funeral.

That's only a five-hour flight
from Israel ! I do kind of get it.

You go to Thatcher's funeral,
afterwards you'll be all worked up

and ready to fuck.

Netanyahus' efforts to spin
their use of public funds

have been ridiculous.

They tried to pre-empt criticism
by giving a reality host

a tour of the official residence,
to show the nation

what a pile of shit
it actually is.

The whole thing is in bad taste,
although there is one moment

that elevates it,
see if you can spot it.

This door has been
through thousands of paintings.

- What is this ?
- A lamp broke and it was glued.

What is this ? I'm in shock
that this is your kitchen.

It looks like the kitchen of a boarding
school in Romania in 1954.

What's in the back ?
This here is the closet ?

I think Anne Frank
is hiding here.

Apparently, at no point in the
editing process for that

did anyone say: "that all looks
great. Maybe lose the Anne Frank joke."

I half expected that South African
interpreter to appear saying:

"Anne Frank jokes, boo."

Says something about how destabilizing
the world's week has been

that watching someone tell
an Anne Frank joke

isn't even the dumbest thing
I've seen someone say on TV this week.

And now this.

And now for Valentine's Day,

local news presents
some heartshaped shit.

When we come back
in Vera's Corner today,

I'm gonna show you how to make
a heart-shaped hardboiled egg.

- Look at these heart-shaped bagels !
- Isn't this fantastic !

A heart-shaped boberry
biscuit for Valentine's Day.

Yes, it is heart-shaped.

A heart-shaped succulent
wreath, I guess.

- Heart-shaped strawberry.
- Heart-shaped pizzas !

This Valentine's sushi and
so we shaped it into a heart shape.

- Heart-shaped rib eye.
- Heart-shaped taco boxes.

A heart-shaped meatloaf frosted
with mashed potatoes. It's just fun.

Moving on. Our main story
tonight concerns Donald Trump.

The only president who combines
the extramarital affairs of a young JFK

with the dead-eyed puffiness
of a post-Watergate Richard Nixon.

We have talked about Trump a lot,

but tonight, we'd like
to do it from a different angle

focusing on his relationship
with the world.

You may remember one particular
remark he made.

According to the U.S. president,
Africa is a shithole.

That's right: he said that.
He absolutely said that.

Except, to be fair to him,
it's actually worse,

he reportedly called Africa, Haiti and
El Salvador shitholes.

I personally have called Belgium
a shithole multiple times,

but a, I'm not a president,
and b,

Belgium is a loathsome chocolate
gulag with no reason to exist.

So you can see
that it's very different.

You probably saw people on TV
being appalled by those remarks.

You may not have seen the response
from the countries he insulted.

I am honestly so shocked,
'shit countries' ?

Has he ever been to this country
to call it a 'shit country ?

We not shithole. We people.
We just like him.

He is a shit, yes, because
it doesn't matter what you have,

he's still going to the same hole
where the same worms will eat him too.

It says something about the Trump
era that the phrase

"the same worms will eat him too"
qualifies as a hopeful thought.

I'd like that crocheted on a pillow
so I can wake up to it every morning !

It is not like that's the only time
Trump's remarks caused an uproar.

He said Korea used to be part of China,
which outraged South Koreans.

He claimed that Germany owes NATO
vast sums, which it does not.

And in the UK, he retweeted
these anti-Muslim videos

from a far-right British group,
which triggered massive condemnation.

Instead of apologizing for it,
he said:

"it was a big story where you are,
but it was not a big story where I am."

And that is exactly his attitude:

"if it wasn't big where I could
see it, then it wasn't big."

Forget mastering foreign affairs,

Trump may not have
mastered object permanence.

Which you need to be a good
president or even a good baby.

Here is the crucial thing: the rest
of the world continues to exist

whether Trump acknowledges it
or not.

Let's try and answer
a few basic questions:

first, what is Donald Trump's
foreign policy ?

Seems to be more
than repeating a single phrase.

America first.

America first again.
America first !

America first.
It will be America first from now on.

America first.

If you are another country watching
that, you may be wondering:

"when has America's attitude
ever 'not' been 'America first ?'"

They've been putting America first

since the day they arrived in
America very much second.

To hear Donald Trump tell it, we've
been getting the short end of stick.

He often complained that America
had become a global punch line

and promised
he could reverse that.

The world is laughing at us, folks.

The whole world is laughing at us.

They're laughing
at what's going on in our country.

The world laughs at us, folks.
The world laughs at us.

We're not gonna be a laughingstock
like we have been, believe me.

We're not going to be
a laughing stock, anymore ?

It is insane that Trump,
this guy, this guy, this guy,

thought he would end the laughter.

It's like a flamingo in boxer shorts
named Finneas J. Rocketdump

ran for president under
the slogan: "time to get serious."

Since Trump became president, world
is laughing harder than ever before.

While all U.S. presidents
do get made fun of,

impersonating Trump has become
an international cottage industry.

Israel has Trump kicking a Muslim man
while dancing lewdly to Guns N' Roses.

Germany has him
dancing to "Uptown Funk".

Spain has him flipping off the world
and, again, dancing like an idiot.

Here he is in Pakistan,
here he is in Bulgaria,

here he is in Taiwan,
here he is in Ethiopia,

here's a pretty shitty one from Turkey
where they're not even trying,

here's a Korean Trump, and here's
one from an Italian comedy show

singing "Born In The USA" on
a fighter with a bucket on his head.

Are any of these funny ?
I don't know.

Is "any" thing about Trump
funny anymore ?

The world's most objectively
laughable human has become

a comedy graveyard
where laughter goes to die.

In case you think any of that may
have been good-natured ribbing,

a recent Gallup poll shows the world's
approval rating of U.S. leadership

has dropped to 30 percent after being
at 50 percent just two years ago.

That is a precipitous drop
in popularity.

Like replacing Gal Gadot in
the "Wonder Woman" franchise

with Matt Lauer.

I know that Donald Trump
and others

may not give a shit about
what the world thinks about us.

They really should,
for a number of reasons,

chief among them something
called soft power.

Which sound like an erectile
dysfunction medication for chinchillas.

So soft, yet so hard.

Basically, it refers to the ability
to get others to do what you want

without using carrots or sticks.

It's kind of a country's brand.
And a nation's soft power can come

from your pop culture, to the ideals
you express, to your reputation.

And diplomacy
can play a major part in it.

Even hard power practitioners,

like Trump's Secretary of Defense,
Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis,

supports the soft power work
done by the State Department.

Years back, he gave a full-throated
defense of properly funding it.

They need to be as fully funded
as Congress believes appropriate,

if you don't fund the State Department
then I need to buy more ammunition.

That is scary, because "buy more
ammunition" is his way of saying

"without diplomacy,
there will be more wars."

He doesn't need ammunition so he can
make bullet earrings for his Etsy store

because he's not
just Secretary of Defense,

he also crafts accessories
for the elegant weirdo.

Trump has shown little interest
in soft power,

his administration proposed
a 29-percent cut

to the State Department
and foreign aid

and there are many vacancies
at the State Department,

to say nothing
of our lack of ambassadors.

From Belgium to Belize,
South Korea to South Africa,

President Trump has a problem.
His embassies have no ambassador.

Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar and
Saudi Arabia all without ambassadors.

Holy shit ! South Korea,
Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Those are countries where
you really need an ambassador !

It's not Liechtenstein,
where you can scrape by

with a sign that says
"never stop Liechtenstein-ing !"

And as for the ambassadors Trump
has appointed, some are not great.

When Trump
appointed Pete Hoekstra,

ambassador to the Netherlands,
they were a little upset over there.

Speaking of threats, at one point
you mentioned in a debate

that there are "no go zones"
in the Netherlands.

And that cars and politicians are being
set on fire in the Netherlands.

I didn't say that. That is actually
an incorrect statement.

We would call it fake news.

Ok. "I didn't say that". He's given
himself some wiggle room there.

As long as he didn't say "exactly"
what the reporter just claimed,

about "no go zones" and politicians
being set on fire, he's correct.

The only thing in the whole world
that would make him "not" correct

is if say video of him saying that
cars and politicians are being burned

and that, yes, there are
no-go zones in the Netherlands.

There are cars being burned, there are
politicians that are being burned.

And yes, there are "no go zones"
in the Netherlands.

It's pretty weird not to recall
saying out loud:

"there are politicians that are being
burned" in the Netherlands.

It's not the thing you do
and immediately forget,

like driving to work or seeing
the movie 'The Post'.

I have a vague memory of walking
into a darkened room,

thinking "Meryl Streep is a treasure",
but the rest is a blank.

When Trump was asked about
his under-staffed State Department,

he claimed that it didn't matter,
for one key reason.

The one that matters is me.
I'm the only one that matters.

When it comes to it,
that's what the policy is going to be.

"I'm the only one that matters.
The only one that matters is me."

It's hard to tell if Trump
is laying out a diplomatic strategy

or demanding that daddy buy him
an Oompa Loompa "now".

If Trump matters,

his actions are
critical to our nation's foreign policy.

Our next question: how is
his approach to the world going ?

And the answer, surprisingly,
is great ! And now this !

Wait ! I'm kidding,
it's been a fucking disaster.

To give you a sense of how much
damage he can do in little time...

I can't believe
you nearly bought that.

Just look at last summer's
back to-back NATO and G7 summits.

It was just three days of meetings,
in which time,

he reportedly told European leaders
"the Germans are bad, very bad."

Then shook Emmanuel Macron's
hand so aggressively

it seems like he was trying
to masturbate an elephant.

At the G7 conference,
world leaders unsuccessfully tried

to convince him to stay
in the Paris Climate Accord.

He gave a speech where he failed
to explicitly reaffirm Article Five,

the basic principle that NATO members
should come to the aid of each other.

Affirming it is routine for presidents
and it was even in Trump's speech,

until being apparently deleted,

blindsiding top members
of his own national security team.

And after witnessing Trump's erratic
behavior for just three days,

Angela Merkel was so shell-shocked,
she made this statement.

The times when we could completely
rely on others are, to an extent, over.

I've experienced this
in the last few days.

We Europeans must really take
our fate into our own hands.

That was
the "day after" the summit !

Merkel wasn't even
supposed to give a major speech,

that was at a campaign event
held in a beer tent !

We're probably lucky there
was an event of any kind,

otherwise she would have just
yelled out "Europe is on its own !"

at her nephew's piano recital.

Our final question: what are
the consequences of this ?

One big one could be that there is
a leadership vacuum in the world

so who will fill that ?

In Europe, the obvious
candidate is Germany.

But even they know
that there may be an issue with that.

Whenever I talk to people
in our neighbor countries,

they mostly expected
sort of a leadership of Germany.

Whenever I talk to
the people in these countries

with a good memory what happened
in the first half of the 20th century,

they're very reluctant talking
about the German leadership.

You're right. I'm so glad
that you brought that up.

I didn't want to be the first one,
but you are absolutely right.

When people hear "Germany wants
to take a leading role in Europe",

most of us think, "no, they're still
in time-out, and they know why".

They know what they did.
Naughty Germany.

Globally, it seems that China is set
to be the biggest beneficiary.

They have been seeking
to increase influence and soft power,

something that
has not gone unnoticed.

An Asian head of government
recently explained to me

that at every regional conference,
Washington sends two diplomats,

whereas Beijing sends dozens.

The Chinese are at every committee
meeting, and you are not, he said.

The result is that Beijing is
increasingly setting the Asian agenda.

It's true. The U.S. is absent
at many important meetings.

That doesn't include meetings
Jared Kushner was supposed to attend,

but he couldn't find the room
and he was too shy to ask,

and then he realized
it was too late anyway,

so he just killed an hour in the lobby
pretending to be on the phone.

China's increased influence
should be alarming,

they're an autocratic country.

You don't necessarily want China
setting global priorities

on things like human
rights and democracy.

Trump's reckless behavior is opening
the door to that happening.

What he's doing is going to make it
harder to accomplish his own goals.

He wants to contain North Korea ?

You might want to appoint
an ambassador to South Korea.

He wants Germany to spend more
on its military ?

Maybe stop publicly shaming Merkel
if you want her to sell that idea home.

If he wants to contain security
threats like ISIS and Al Shabaab,

then maybe don't call African
countries fucking shitholes.

Trump can say that he doesn't care,

because
his approach is "America first".

But you need allies to get anything
done. Foreign affairs is like sex:

if you loudly announce
that you will always come first,

you're going to have
trouble finding partners.

And as for Trump's other promise,
that the world will stop laughing,

it is not just comedians doing that,
it's world leaders.

Australian Prime Minister
was at a press dinner last year

and he had himself a bit of fun.

The Donald and I, we are winning
and winning in the polls.

We are winning so much.

We are winning
like we have never won before.

Not the fake polls !

They're the ones we're not winning in.
We're winning in the real polls.

The online polls.
They are so easy to win.

I have this Russian guy.

Believe me, it's true.

That is a key ally,

using the fact that our president
is a pathological liar as a punch line

and crushing that room like a fourth
grader with a carrot up his nose.

If you think that was grim,
let me show you one more clip,

this one is from Russian TV,
with a comedian making fun

of Trump's suspiciously
close relationship to Putin,

and there is a fun little
surprise for you at the end.

The other day Hillary asked me:
Donald, do you love Russia ?

I answered: yes, I do.
I love Russia.

But you have
no evidence against me.

My best friend is President Putin !

My god. That is as happy
as I've ever seen Putin. Ever !

At least we now know what
type of humor that Putin likes:

the kind where he meddles
in another country's election,

has a joke about it in public

and then realizes it all worked out
and no one can touch him.

That's the kind of humor that Putin
likes. It just creases him up !

I know this is depressing.

It seems like America's reputation is
under attack from its own president.

Which is ridiculous,
soft power is an act of salesmanship.

It is the one thing that Trump
is supposed to be good at

and he's fucking blowing it.

As an immigrant who has
fallen in love with this country,

please allow me to speak to the rest
of the world in America's defense.

Donald Trump does not reflect America.
To be completely honest...

He does reflect it a bit.

But the point is,
America is not one thing.

It's a beautiful mess of contradictions
where good and bad are mixed.

On one hand,
it makes Mountain Dew,

which tastes like a honeydew melon
was fucked by a radioactive clown.

It also made this awesome bed
shaped like the Batmobile.

You can fall asleep in that
thing and "be" Batman !

If Batman somehow got locked out
of the Batcave.

But that's the American dream !

America's the country that came up
with YouTube, which, yes, I know,

gave you and the world
that shithead Logan Paul,

but it also gave you those videos
of adults in T-Rex suits on dirt bikes,

ballet-dancing, exercising
and doing basic car repairs.

That magnificent dinosaur costume ?
That's an American idea, too.

America is the country that gave you
Star Wars. You're welcome.

And Scientology,
we're sorry about that.

Sometimes, what's great
and terrible about us

is just impossible to separate.

Like Popeye's chicken,
it's objectively disgusting,

but I would run across traffic
to eat this shit.

Trump is the worst of us, yes,
but he's not all of us.

If I had to distill America
down to one sound,

it wouldn't be the voice of Trump
screaming "America first",

it would be the voices of
the New York City Gay Men's Chorus,

singing this song.

Somebody once told me
the world is gonna roll me...

That's right, that's
"All Star" by Smash Mouth,

a terrible, stupid song being sung
absolutely beautifully.

This should be
our new national anthem !

And so please world for the next three,
or seven, or, somehow, eleven years,

please remember
this is the country of Donald Trump,

but it's also the country of
people profoundly embarrassed by him

and the country that brought you
inflatable dinosaur costumes

and fucking Batman beds.

That's our show,
thank you for watching tonight.

We'll see you next week,
good night !

It's a great country.
Give me back my pillow.

END OF EPISODE 1,
SEASON V