On Sunday night, John Oliver returned to the Last Week Tonight desk after a few weeks off to tackle the biggest news of late.
“The big news was Kamala Harris being announced as Biden’s running mate—a decision that sent conservatives scrambling for attack strategies, from claiming it’s an ‘extreme, far-left’ ticket—which it absolutely isn’t—to a baseless accusation that she may not meet the citizenship requirements to hold the office despite being very much born in the United States,” said Oliver. “It’s a depressing resurgence of birtherism, so of course Trump jumped all over it.”
Yes, in a press conference this week Trump signal-boosted a completely unsubstantiated Newsweek op-ed—by a man who lost to Kamala Harris in the race for Los Angeles County District Attorney—that questioned Harris’ citizenship and VP requirements (though the same author defended Ted Cruz’s requirements, even though he was born in Canada and Harris was born in California).
“I heard today that she doesn’t meet the requirements,” offered Trump. “And by the way, the lawyer that wrote that piece is a very highly qualified, very talented lawyer. I have no idea if that’s right.”
“Oh, I’ll tell you if it’s right: it fucking isn’t!” exclaimed Oliver. “And it’s frankly amazing how slow Trump is to respond to so many things like, I don’t know, public health crises, yet when it comes to amplifying racist conspiracy theories, suddenly he’s The Flash on cocaine.” (Trump also led the racist birtherism campaign against Barack Obama.)
Which brings us to Marjorie Taylor Greene, a conspiracy theorist with a recent history of racist comments who won the Republican primary for Georgia’s 14th congressional district—and is all but guaranteed a seat in Congress in the heavily-red district. Greene is a believer in QAnon, a truly bonkers and entirely unfounded conspiracy theory that believes, among other things, that Hollywood is extracting fear from the bodies of children and using it to create a drug they ingest called “Adrenochrome” (which they presumably cribbed from the Pixar movie Monsters, Inc.).
“That is alarming,” said Oliver. “And if you are lucky enough not to know about what QAnon is and are thinking ‘let me google that,’ please don’t.”
He went on: “The [QAnon] conspiracy involves a range of batshit theories but very basically, many QAnon supporters believe in a global conspiracy involving a ring of Satan-worshipping, child-molesting criminals led by prominent Democrats that includes everyone from Hillary Clinton to Tom Hanks to a Mexican cement company [Cemex]. They also believe information about it is being leaked via cryptic posts on the internet by someone with very high Q-level security clearance—which sounds just as made-up as it definitely is.”
If that weren’t enough, the Q crowd also believes that Donald Trump—who is in the Jeffrey Epstein flight logs and has been accused of walking in on teenage girls changing while in charge of Miss Teen USA—is waging a covert war on these pedophiles.
“And apparently, the main person who’s working to root out the satanist pedophiles is Donald Trump, which is a little weird because, you know,” said Oliver, before throwing to a photo of Trump and his late pal Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex trafficker and pedophile.