Skip to main content

John Oliver Blasts Trump's Response To Charlottesville (Video)

John Oliver Blasts Trump's Response To Charlottesville (Video) Promo Image

Comedian and political pundit John Oliver slammed President Donald Trump's response to the attack in Charlottesville Virginia, which left one dead and countless others injured (video below).

According to Oliver, the president should have disavowed Nazis and white supremacists in his official response, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"It simply doesn’t get easier than disavowing Nazis. ... It is almost impossible to screw it up" said Oliver during the Aug. 13 broadcast of his HBO show, "Last Week Tonight." 

Trump wasn't forceful enough in his response, Oliver claimed, and the president blamed the violence on "many sides," refusing to call out the white supremacists by name.

Protests turned deadly on Aug. 12 after a gray Dodge Challenger plowed into a group of counter-protesters who were gathered in downtown Charlottesville to protest the presence of white supremacists. According to NBC News, white supremacists were in the area protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. 

Image placeholder title

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides," Trump told reporters from his golf course in Bedminster. "No matter our color, creed, religion, our political party, we are all Americans first."

But Oliver believes that by refusing to disavow white supremacy, the president only further emboldened these hate groups.

"Nazis are a lot like cats. If they like you, it's probably because you're feeding them," the comedian said.

"Incredibly, in a country where previous presidents have actually had to defeat Nazis," he added, "we now have one who cannot even be bothered to ... condemn them."

Image placeholder title

Trump's comments have been heavily criticized by both sides of the political spectrum. CNN reports that Ken Frazier, member of the President's Manufacturing Council, resigned from his position in response to the president's failure to disavow white supremacy.

On Aug. 14, two days after his initial response, Trump issued a second statement on the Charlottesville protests, this time directly condemning white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

"Racism is evil -- and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans," the president said with the help of a teleprompter during a White House event.

"Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America."

After expressing his grief for the victims involved, the president noted the need for law and order during this time of chaos.

"As a candidate I promised to restore law and order to our country, and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge," he said. "We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear. We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams, in their hearts, and to express the love and joy in our souls." 

During his monologue, Oliver noted that nothing the president says will be able to fix the damage already wrought by the first statement. 

"His first response is who he is," said Oliver, according to HuffPost.

Sources: Los Angeles Times, NBC News, CNN,HuffPost / Featured Image: Montclair Film/Flickr / Embedded Images: Evan Siegfried/TwitterU.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr

Popular Video