Speed Reads


John Oliver tries, hilariously and dangerously, to break Donald Trump's spell on America

"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