John Oliver: Donald Trump election rigging comments 'legitimately dangerous'
John Oliver hit at Donald Trump on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight for Trump’s rhetoric that the presidential election is being rigged in Hillary Clinton’s favor.
Starting with Trump’s tweet last week that his “shackles” had been taken off, Oliver looked at Trump’s week of stump speeches and comments — which included shots at GOP leadership, Clinton, the media, the women accusing him of sexual assault (claims Trump has denied), and even Saturday Night Live.
“Yes, the shackles are off — which is actually an apt metaphor, as it calls to mind Frankenstein’s monster and a rabid dog,” Oliver said before running through a list of outlandish things Trump could have said between when Last Week Tonight taped its broadcast and now.
He then shifted the segment back to Trump’s actual words. “But perhaps most ominously of all. Trump took a theme that has been dancing around all this campaign and made it explicitly and frighteningly direct,” Oliver said, before playing a clip from one of Trump’s rallies.
“The election is rigged. It’s rigged like you’ve never seen before,” Trump said, comments he’s repeated on the campaign trail and online. “You see what’s happening, the process is rigged. The whole election is being rigged.”
“Telling your supporters the election is being rigged is legitimately dangerous because faith in fair elections and in peaceful transfer of power are essential foundations for a democracy, and undermining them is like asking why one of those giant eagles didn’t just fly Frodo all the way to Mordor in The Lord of the Rings: If enough people start thinking that way, the whole thing kind of falls apart,” Oliver joked.
The host then summed a week in Trump: “So just to recap: This week, Trump has declared war on his political opponents, the media, his own party, his own campaign, and the concept of democracy itself. It all paints a picture of a man who’s increasingly positioning himself as the only source of truth and goodness in America,” he said, playing more footage of Trump’s speeches.
“I never knew it would be this vile, that it would be this bad, that it would be this vicious. Nevertheless, I take all of these slings and arrows gladly for you,” Trump said during a speech last week. “Many political experts warned me this campaign would be a journey to hell. But they’re wrong. It would be a journey to heaven.”
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“You heard right,” Oliver responded. “He sees himself as a lone, persecuted savior who started out in construction, is suffering on behalf of his followers, and will one day take them to heaven. We have known for a while that Donald Trump thinks he is the second coming of Christ, but it turns out he might mean that literally. The only real difference being, with Christ we think, ‘What would Jesus do?’ and with Trump it’s more, ‘Jesus, what the f— did you just do!?'”
The footage of Oliver’s opening is not yet online — this post will be updated when official video becomes available.
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver