On the latest edition of Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver aimed the majority of his ire at Rudy Giuliani, who made headlines last week with a bizarre, eye-bulging appearance on Fox News.
Giuliani, who’s been a member of President Trump’s legal team for all of two weeks, told Trump stooge Sean Hannity that the president was not only aware of his lawyer/fixer Michael Cohen’s $130,000 payment in the final weeks of the presidential election to silence Trump’s alleged mistress Stormy Daniels but that the president “repaid” Cohen for the hush money via a $35,000 monthly retainer. (Both Giuliani and Trump have since backtracked on this claim, but The New York Times has reported that Trump indeed knew about the payment before he denied any knowledge of it to the media and, by extension, the public.)
“In saying that, Giuliani may have just exposed Trump to multiple new legal and political problems, but he wasn’t done,” offered Oliver.
The HBO host then went on to reveal how Giuliani contradicted the White House’s excuse for why former FBI director James Comey was fired, prematurely announced the freeing of hostages in North Korea (based, it seems, on a rumor spread by Trump’s online troll army), and, should prosecutors decide to target the Trump family, called the president’s daughter Ivanka “a fine woman” and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, “disposable.”
“OK, setting aside the sleaziness of calling Ivanka Trump ‘a fine woman,’ let’s not forget that he also just called a living human being ‘disposable’—which is pretty harsh, but also… it is Jared, you know? It’s Jared,” said Oliver. “He is basically a 6-foot-3-inch stack of packing peanuts. It’s Jared. He’s useless.”
Following Giuliani’s series of media tirades this week, cable news pundits expressed shock and dismay at the state of the man who was once crowned “America’s mayor” in the wake of 9/11.
“People seem to be as shocked at finding out who Giuliani really is as a child at Disney World who accidentally saw Mickey Mouse pull off his head to reveal that he was actually Tilda Swinton,” said Oliver. “And if any part of you is also wondering what on earth happened to Rudy Giuliani, tonight, we’re going to try to answer that for you, because the short answer is: nothing. He’s always been this way.”
While Oliver does give Giuliani credit for being “a calm, steady” presence as New York City mayor after 9/11, the host argued that “to truly understand Giuliani, you have to go before 9/11.” When Giuliani first ran for mayor, his own campaign flagged “a weirdness factor” around him in a vulnerability study due to the fact that his first marriage was to his second cousin.
Despite growing up together, Giuliani later claimed that he only discovered that they were related after years of marriage. “Oh, bullshit!” exclaimed Oliver. “He didn’t think it was just a little bit weird at the wedding ceremony when one side of the church was both families, and the other was just one very nervous photographer who didn’t take a single picture?”
There was also Giuliani’s crackdown on crime in New York City, which unfairly targeted members of the African-American community. The police were, Oliver explained, essentially given free rein to do whatever they wanted to crack down on everyone from panhandlers to graffiti artists to low-level drug dealers—basically anyone seen as reducing the city’s quality of life. It was an era rife with police shootings of unarmed civilians, stop-and-frisk, you name it.
One thing that connects Giuliani and Trump, aside from how they’re both New Yorkers who love the spotlight, having made numerous Saturday Night Live appearances and movie cameos, is that they’ve both publicly stepped out on their wives. Amid a torrent of affair rumors, Giuliani announced his split from his second wife during a press conference—without so much as giving her a heads-up. (Giuliani’s own children were estranged from him for a number of years as a result of the way he treated their mother, just as Trump’s were following his split from first wife Ivana.)
Following an embarrassing 2008 presidential run, wherein Giuliani, according to Oliver, “could not stop leveraging 9/11 for his own ends”—yet still ultimately earned zero delegates—the ex-mayor formed a number of companies and morphed into a loopy far-right cable news pundit.
During Trump’s presidential campaign, Giuliani forwarded a number of conspiracy theories about Trump opponent Hillary Clinton, including that she was suffering from a series of health problems and that he didn’t remember her being around during 9/11—despite the fact that she was right next to him surveying the damage at ground zero and was very active in helping 9/11 first responders).
So Oliver decided to troll Giuliani by purchasing a few web domains, including HillaryClintonIllness.com, which automatically redirects to an animation of two ferrets having sex; Giuliani-Security.com, which now redirects to “two ferrets who are cousins not fucking”; and Giuliani2024.com, which redirects to a dancing ferret giving Giuliani the finger. (The ferrets are a cheeky nod to Giuliani mocking a constituent on his radio show for loving ferrets.)
And the comedian suggests Trump and Giuliani are more similar than people realize: “Think about it: They’re basically two versions of the same person. They’re both New Yorkers coasting on their reputations, they’ve both had three marriages, neither of them can shut up in front of a camera, and, perhaps most importantly, they both want to fuck Ivanka—which is weird for Trump because Ivanka is in his family, and is weird for Giuliani because she isn’t.”