Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, after a short, NSFW diatribe against the 2016 reboot of Gilmore Girls, was all about President Trump’s border wall, “the key promise of his first campaign.” When Oliver first covered Trump’s wall four years ago, “we discussed how the wall seemed, in addition to being transparently racist, like it was going to be both expensive and pointless,” he said. “And while we predicted the whole thing would be a shambles, the extent to which that’s been true, even we didn’t see coming.”
“We thought that tonight, especially ahead of the RNC next week, it would be a good time to give you an update on the status of Trump’s border wall, because before he took office, he wanted it to define him as a president,” Oliver said. “And that has very much happened, but in none of the ways that he intended.” He focused on what Trump has actually built — 270 miles of replacement barrier, 5 miles of new wall — the irreversible damage it has caused, and the role played by Fisher Industries and the private Build the Wall project that led to Stephen Bannon’s arrest last week.
Fisher Industries, with a history that includes “sexual harassment, tax fraud, federal violations, and child pornography,” was turned down for wall contracts by federal engineers, Oliver recounted. But CEO Tommy Fisher directly appealed to Trump through at least 10 appearances on Fox News and hooking up with We Build the Wall, which directed $10 million of its $25 million in private donations to the company. One of the resulting walls “looks like it may either collapse or get pushed over,” he said. “And if you know anything about this administration, it will not surprise you to learn that Fisher has now wound up with over $2 billion in border-building contracts.”
Oliver said while he predicted Trump’s wall would be a disaster, “all of this was stupider than even I thought was possible. Because the fact is, this wall is not a functional barrier. If it’s anything, it is a f—ing monument to Trump — which actually makes more sense.” Forget Trump’s Mount Rushmore pipe dreams, he concluded, “this is his monument. And there’s perhaps nothing more emblematic of his presidency than this wall: It’s destructive, pointless, ineffective, racist, weak, and something that the damages of which we’re going to have to be dealing with for a very long time.” Watch below. Peter Weber