John Oliver kicked off his show by addressing the violence that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia and President Trump‘s reaction to it.
The Last Week Tonight host began by saying such a tragedy of the death of a protester while neo-Nazis marched in an American city “calls for true leadership from whomever sits in the Oval Office.”
“Unfortunately, the current occupant is [Trump],” he stated.
He then took on Trump’s remarks, condemning the “hatred, bigotry, and violence that’s on many sides.”
“Wait, on many sides?!?” Oliver reacted. “This was a white nationalist rally! You have to call that out by name!”
He compared this to a “reverse Godwin’s Law” where “if you fail to mention Nazism, you lose the argument.”
Oliver then reacted to former KKK grand wizard David Duke‘s remarks where he said white nationalists were going to “fulfill the promises of Donald Trump.”
“David Duke and the Nazis really seem to like Donald Trump which is strange because Nazis are a lot like cats,” Oliver continued. “If they like you, it’s probably because you’re feeding them.”
He then slammed Trump for missing multiple opportunities to condemn the white nationalists by name as he stepped across the podium numerous times while reporters kept asking him questions.
“You know, for a second there, as he came back to the podium, I thought he was about to say the right thing,” Oliver elaborated. “But of course not. He had one last shot before the buzzer on the racism clock hit zero and he threw an airball so far away, it landed in the Third Reich.”
And when he passed the podium again without uttering a word to the press, Oliver thought that said a lot.
“So here’s the problem with that,” he said. “A non-answer in a moment like this is an answer.”
Oliver added that Trump may take a “second swing” at condemning the white nationalists, but “it would be too late” because his first response is “who he is.”
“It doesn’t get much easier than disavowing Nazis. It’s almost as much as a presidential gimme as pardoning a f**king turkey. It is almost impossible to screw it up, but that’s exactly what happened. So there is clearly no point in waiting for leadership from our president in moments like this because it is just not coming, which means we will have to look to one another because incredibly, in a country where previous presidents have actually had to defeat Nazis, we now have one who cannot even be bothered to f**king condemn them.”
Watch the clip above, via HBO.
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