John Oliver is convinced he’s come to solve the riddle of President Trump’s fascination with Vladimir Putin.
In short, the Last Week Tonight host has deduced the newly elected Republican president dreams of becoming the exact, same man the longtime Russian president has transformed himself into.
More specifically, Oliver concluded during the latest airing of his HBO-aired show that Trump marvels at the way Putin has mastered the art of deflecting blame from himself and casting it on others, an ability that has greatly helped him survive all his country’s financial woes and other struggles with his popularity still relatively intact.
“He knows how to delegitimize our ability to claim a moral high ground,” added Oliver.
Later, the host pronounced Trump “the propagandist to Putin’s dreams,” using instances of how the former has given rise to the latter’s claims of the U.S. electoral system being rigged by promoting that very same narrative throughout his campaign as an example.
Oliver also called attention to how Trump has often defended Putin in interviews here at home, including a recent Fox News interview where he deflected host Bill O’Reilly’s claim of “Putin’s a killer” by countering “what you think our country is so innocent?”
In time Oliver deduced, Trump and Putin now share so many connections and such an unbreakable bond it’s almost as if Russia is the country that gave us “potentially the 45th President of the United States.”
He later added, “it’s a bit weird that [Trump] has been objectively nicer to Vladimir Putin than to Meryl Strep.”
Earlier this month during the show’s Season 4 premiere, Oliver used part of the episode to brand Trump a “pathological liar” so out-of-control everyone in the country should be alarmed.
“Since taking office around 412 years ago, Trump has made it clear that reality is not important to him,” he added, calling further attention to the way the new president claimed on the day of his inauguration that through God’s intervention conditions were rain-free, even though rain drops fell throughout much of the swearing-in ceremony.
“We have a president capable of standing in the rain and saying it was a sunny day,” he concluded. “Trump’s relationship with the truth is going to be of profound importance going forward because any policy discussion has to begin with a shared sense of reality and Trump’s reality can change within a single sentence.”
In the past, senior White House staffers have defended some of the administration’s inconstancies by insisting the only thing that truly matters is that the president believes a given point-of-view to be truthful.
“This isn’t about belief,” countered Oliver. “It can’t be. Incidence of voter fraud is a verifiable fact and faith and facts aren’t like Bill Pullman and Bill Paxton. When you confuse them, it actually matters. Real people get hurt when you make policy based on false information. Billions will get spent on a wall that won’t work to prevent a crimewave that isn’t happening while refugees sit in dangerous situations to prevent Bowling Green-style massacres that never took place.”
As for Trump and his administration’s whole “alternative facts” campaign, the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking site Politifact recently calculated that the president only tells the truth approximately four percent of the time, compared with 17 percent of his statements registering as egregious lies.
Last Week Tonight won an Emmy in 2016 for Outstanding Variety Series, becoming the first show since 1997 to win the award for a series not hosted by one of the trio of David Letterman, Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert.
Oliver also owns three Emmys for his writing on the Daily Show.
[Featured Image by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images]