Speed Reads


John Oliver cautions everyone not to get too lost in the comedy of Trump's White House chaos

The Trump administration "continues to hemorrhage staffers," John Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight, and the departure of Hope Hicks "is actually a big deal" for President Trump. When Hicks leaves, the only member of Trump's original campaign team left will be social media director Dan Scavino, Trump's former golf caddy and, Oliver said, "a suspicious-looking guy." ("We looked for non-suspicious pictures of Dan Scavino, and we couldn't find any," he explained.) Trump still has his family in the White House, of course, but son-in-law Jared Kushner "may have actually had the worst week of all."

Kushner's interim top security clearance was downgraded to below the level of the chief White House calligrapher — Oliver had a theory about that — and with good reason, he explained. "Kushner screwed up some important paperwork, keeps changing his personal wealth, and casually overlooked hundreds of foreigners. He truly is his father-in-law's son. The only real difference is one of them has electrifying sexual chemistry with Ivanka Trump and the other is Jared Kushner."

"It's easy to get caught up in all this drama and forget that White House chaos can have real-world consequences," Oliver said, pointing to the news that Trump is unexpectedly imposing steep steel and aluminum tariffs. "And whether you agree with that move or not, you have to be bothered by how it happened." He razzed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross' attempt to argue the tariffs won't hurt U.S. consumers ("How is he not Magoo?" Oliver demanded). So "Trump may well have set off a global trade war for no good reason," he said, "and if you need a sense of just how stupid this is," Oliver had an example. Watch below — though there is fleeting NSFW language in both clips. Peter Weber