Daily Show host Jon Stewart ripped the wave of conspiracy theories surrounding the Jade Helm 15 training exercises, which have some people concerned over a “Texas takeover” by the federal government.
“You know who’s calling it a ‘Texas takeover’? Lone star lunatics. Dallas d*cks, Houston a*sholes,” Stewart said. “There’s no Texas takeover. The United States government already controls Texas. Just borrow a textbook from a neighboring state — it’s all in there.”
While it was “adorable” for Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to think that the state guard could pick a fight with the military and win, Stewart said, the exercises date back to at least 2001, when another Republican, George W. Bush, was president and Rick Perry let the operations continue without incident.
“It appears you are on the verge of being taken over by ISIS or the United States of America,” Stewart said. “So you have a choice to make. And when you make it, just remember — and I never thought I’d be saying this — what would Rick Perry do?”
Stewart also touched on the recent attempted shooting attack outside an anti-Muslim event promoted by Pamela Geller’s American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), criticizing the attack without siding with Geller’s particular message.
“AFDI is a First Amendment group the same way people from Philly are sports fans,” he said. “Ostensibly, they like sports, but really they’re looking for an excuse to punch a stranger and pour beer on someone’s baby.”
Nevertheless, he argued, “It is not okay to shoot other people because you are offended by what they draw. Even if they drew it to offend you, no shooting of them. Never okay.”
That statement led to an impromptu meeting with his correspondents, who popped out from under his desk looking for loopholes.
“What if someone is creating a climate of hate and intolerance by appealing to peoples’ basest fears?” Hasan Minhaj asked.
“No. The violence just perpetuates the fear,” Stewart replied. “You can’t. Thank you.”
Stewart found himself fending off questions from not only Minhaj, but Jessica Williams, Jordan Klepper, and a returning Al Madrigal, who took the host by surprise.
“I haven’t seen you in like six months,” Stewart said, before asking, “When did you get here?”
“I’ve been down here the whole time,” Madrigal replied.
Watch the discussion, as posted online on Monday, below.
Trump’s inspector general firing will cripple intel agencies during the coronavirus crisis: National security analyst
On CNN Saturday, national security analyst Samantha Vinograd laid into President Donald Trump for firing intelligence community inspector general Michael Atkinson.
"Trump has decimated his own intelligence to date, and now he's continuing that pet project at a moment when, arguably, we need more, not fewer, competent professionals on board," said Vinograd. "This is an all-hands-on-deck moment for the entire U.S. government, including the U.S. intelligence community. In the face of the novel coronavirus, resources are strained. We have less intelligence professionals able to come to work and access classified servers. And rather than trying to marshal resources at this time, President Trump has removed a competent intelligence professional from a key post."
HBO’s Bill Maher returns to rip Trump over the pandemic — and blast his fans who are rallying around ‘the guy who made it worse’
HBO's Bill Maher returned on Friday night via YouTube to blast Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic and took on fans of the president who are rallying around him, calling their response "irrational."
Speaking from what appeared to be his backyard, the "Real Time" host noted that Americans tend to rally around their leaders in times of crisis but that this president is not deserving of support.
"Was the current crisis preventable? " he asked. "Not all of it, of course. But we could have done what South Korea did, their nightmare started the day our's did. But while Trump shut up experts, happy-talked and lied his ass off, South Korea put a strong testing program into place, tracing people, and today they have twenty-0ne times the cases and thirty times fewer deaths."
WATCH: The Daily Show releases devastating video of Fox News and Republicans downplaying COVID-19 crisis
Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" on Friday released a shocking highlight reel of Fox News personalities and leading Republicans downplaying the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The clip featured Fox News personalities Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Pete Hegseth, Jesse Watters.
It also featured Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
President Donald Trump himself is also featured.
Hannity. Rush. Dobbs. Ingraham. Pirro. Nunes. Tammy. Geraldo. Doocy. Hegseth. Schlapp. Siegel. Watters. Dr. Drew. Henry. Ainsley. Gaetz. Inhofe. Pence. Kudlow. Conway. Trump.