"Our main story tonight — and I can't even believe I'm saying this — is Donald Trump," said John Oliver on Sunday's Last Week Tonight. Oliver said he has avoided covering Trump as much as possible, but with his string of victories and likely nomination, "at this point, Donald Trump is America's back mole — it may have seemed harmless a year ago, but now that it has gotten frighteningly bigger, it is no longer wise to ignore it." Still, Oliver noted, Trump is genuinely funny and entertaining. "There is a part of me that even likes this guy," he said. "It's a part I hate, but it is a part of me."
But Trump's appeal doesn't last if you dig a little deeper. For the next 15 minutes, Oliver looked at Trump's favorable attributes, as named by supporters, and shredded each one. Truth-teller? Independent and self-financing? Tough? Oliver even took on Trump's biggest selling point, and biggest potential liability — his business success and wealth. "Trump's lack of sound financial instincts is perhaps best exemplified by the business he put his name on back in 2006, just before the entire housing market collapsed," Oliver said of the short-lived Trump Mortgage. "In fact, starting a mortgage company in 2006 was one of the worst decisions you could possibly make."
But Trump seems magic, even charmed. "Even when you can demonstrably prove Trump to be wrong, it somehow never seems to matter," Oliver said "You can hold his feet to the fire, but he'll just stand there on the stumps, bragging about his fireproof foot skin." It has to do with Trump's years of brand-building, using himself as his mascot. To separate the man from the success-dripping legend, Oliver traced Trump's family name back to Drumpf. And he ran with it, big time.
"So if you are thinking of voting for Donald Trump, the charismatic guy promising to make America great again, stop and take a moment to imagine how you would feel if you just met a guy named Donald Drumpf, a litigious serial liar with a string of broken business ventures and the support of a former Klan leader who he can't decide whether or not to condemn," Oliver said. "Would you think he would make a great president, or is the spell somewhat broken?" He wasn't done. You can now click on the hashtag #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain, or download a Chrome extension and buy a hat at DonaldJDrumpf.com. Oliver even ended with a new Donald Drumpf campaign anthem — and a nod to Trump's coming lawsuit. Watch below. Peter Weber
Two men remain in custody Saturday for questioning in connection to the deadly attack at Westminster Bridge in London on Wednesday. The attacker, a 52-year-old English native born Adrian Russell Ajao but known as Khalid Masood, was fatally shot by police at the scene of the crime.
Police are now investigating whether Masood "acted totally alone inspired by terrorist propaganda, or if others have encouraged, supported or directed him." The two men currently detained were among 11 people arrested so far; of the others, seven have been released without charges and two women have been released on bail.
Londoners meanwhile have deluged the area where the attack occurred with a veritable sea of flowers. "You will always be in our hearts," said a note from London Mayor Sadiq Khan to Masood's victims. "Londoners will never forget the innocent people who lost their lives." Bonnie Kristian
An armed robbery left the Bellagio hotel and casino in Las Vegas in chaos around 3 a.m. Saturday morning, and police have confirmed three suspects were involved in the break-in attempt at a Rolex jewelry store in the casino complex.
Where the story gets weird is in a photo snapped by an eyewitness and posted on Twitter: The image shows what appears to be one of the robbers wearing a rubber pig mask.
— Kira (@Kir_kamil) March 25, 2017
The Trump administration is ready to move on to addressing tax policy after the downfall of the health-care plan it supported, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Friday. Trump is "disappointed" by the loss, Spicer conceded, but is now motivated by "a desire to do fundamental tax reform, something we haven't seen since 1986," Spicer told Fox News. "The agenda moves on."
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), chair of the House tax committee, affirmed he is prepared "to work with the administration to get this done." The health-care bill failure "made a big challenge more challenging," he said, "but it's not insurmountable."
Spicer also echoed President Trump's suggestion that ObamaCare will now fail of its own accord, leading to a future replacement project. "Democrats will crawl back once the system fails on its own," he said. "The people that stood with Nancy Pelosi today understand the system is going down and the higher costs are on their shoulders, not ours." Bonnie Kristian
After lagging behind Wisconsin for the first half of the game, the Gators pulled ahead for much of the second half. A concerted comeback by the Badgers produced a tied game with just four seconds left on the overtime clock when Wisconsin's Nigel Hayes scored two points. The game seemed finished — until Florida's Chris Chiozza sprinted down the court to make a running 3-pointer just as the buzzer rang out in Madison Square Garden.
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 25, 2017
U.S.-supported Iraqi forces paused their fight to retake the Islamic State-occupied portion of the city of Mosul on Saturday in response to concerns about a high civilian casualty rate. "The recent high death toll among civilians inside the Old City forced us to halt operations to review our plans," said a representative of the Iraqi troops. "It's a time for weighing new offensive plans and tactics. No combat operations are to go on."
At least 200 people were reportedly killed in a single U.S. coalition airstrike in Mosul, news a United Nations official in Iraq condemned as a "terrible loss of life." The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights counts an unconfirmed 700 civilian deaths attributable to coalition strikes and forces since the siege on the western half of the city began in mid-February.
A representative of the U.S. military said an investigation of the alleged casualties is underway, but cautioned the process "takes time ... especially when the date of the alleged strike is in question." Bonnie Kristian
Democrats could hardly contain their excitement after Republicans' health-care bill crashed and burned
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has declared Friday — the day House Republican leadership pulled the vote on the American Health Care Act — a "great day for our country." "It's a victory ... for the American people. For our seniors, for people with disabilities, for our children, for our veterans," Pelosi said in a press conference shortly after the House Republican leadership's announcement.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: "Today is a great day for our country... it's a victory for the American people" https://t.co/HAq8bBO0fi
— NBC News (@NBCNews) March 24, 2017
Other Democrats were just as gleeful. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) similarly deemed Friday a "good day for the American people," while Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he has "never seen an administration as incompetent as the one occupying the White House." "So much for the art of the deal," Schumer said, referring to President Trump's bestselling book.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez borrowed the words of former Vice President Joe Biden to describe the moment:
This was a rejection of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. In the words of my friend @JoeBiden: This is a BFD.
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) March 24, 2017
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) tweeted this sick burn:
Hey Republicans, don't worry, that burn is covered under the Affordable Care Act
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) March 24, 2017
Hillary Clinton also came out of the woods to celebrate, starting off with this tweet and continuing on with several more:
Today was a victory for all Americans. pic.twitter.com/LX6lzQXtBR
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 24, 2017
Trump on Friday blamed Democrats for Republicans' health-care bill's failure, deeming Pelosi and Schumer the real "losers" because now Democrats have to "own" ObamaCare, which he said is "exploding." Democrats were unfazed by that prospect: "We owned it yesterday and the day before and in November," Hoyer said. Becca Stanek
House Republican leadership pulled the American Health Care Act from the chamber floor Friday, after it became apparent it did not have the necessary party consensus to pass. The bill, which was drafted by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and backed by President Trump, was Republicans' first attempt at realizing their nearly decade-long promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare.
While former President Barack Obama was in office, Republican lawmakers repeatedly passed bills calling for the repeal of his signature Affordable Care Act, only to have the Democratic president veto that legislation when it arrived on his desk. With the government currently 100 percent controlled by the GOP, some reporters asked after the bill failed Friday why Republicans had been able to pass countless measures under Obama, but not one under a Republican president who might actually sign their bills into law — and Texas Rep. Joe Barton (R) offered a shockingly frank answer:
— Alice Ollstein (@AliceOllstein) March 24, 2017