On this Sunday’s edition of “Last Week Tonight,” HBO political comedian John Oliver took a deep dive into the political history of Britain’s new prime minister, Boris Johnson — a staunch cheerleader of Brexit and a figure who is often described as the U.K. version of President Donald Trump.
“Given that Britain’s new leader is a clownish figure with silly hair and a passing relationship with the truth, you may already be thinking of the person you’re almost always thinking about anyway,” said Oliver. And indeed, like Trump, Johnson is a far-right populist ideologue with a history of “truly disgusting” racist and sexist comments — he has said Congolese people have “watermelon smiles,” called gay men “tank-topped bumboys,” and said that women in burqas look like “letterboxes” or “bank robbers.”
And yet, Oliver noted, there is a key difference between the two leaders’ styles: Unlike Trump, Johnson has the ability to laugh about his own irreverence and incompetence to the cameras, in a way that both charms the press and makes people suspect that his behavior is more savvy and calculated than it really is. Even his iconically tangled hair, Oliver said, is reportedly mussed up that way just before he goes on camera.
But while that might have ensured his political survival in Britain, Oliver warned, the moment of truth is now: “All of the skills that have helped Johnson to become prime minister will not paper over all the deficits that are going to make him terrible at that job.”
The problem is that Johnson wants to negotiate a better trade deal with the European Union before October’s Brexit deadline, but Europe has already said it is done negotiating and it will never agree to Johnson’s terms. Johnson seems to be incapable of even understanding how the current trade regime works, let alone how to negotiate a better one. And hitting the deadline with no transition plan is forecast to collapse Britain’s economy overnight, destabilizing global markets.
Watch Oliver’s full segment below:
‘Stand with Hong Kong’ shirts fill the stands at Nets game as NBA is protested for China subservience
The National Basketball Association was protested on Friday for bowing to pressure from China.
The NBA has been harshly criticized for standing by the oppressive regime instead of standing in solidarity with the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
"Producer and activist Andrew Duncan bought 300 tickets to tonight's Nets vs Raptors game and is hosting hundreds of Chinese pro-Democracy activists to protest the NBA," New York magazine correspondent Yashar Ali reported Friday. "They're all wearing 'Stand With Hong Kong' T-shirts."
Photos from the protest:
1. Producer and activist Andrew Duncan bought 300 tickets to tonight's Nets vs Raptors game and is hosting hundreds of Chinese pro-Democracy activists to protest the NBA.
Trump polling close friends over whether he should fire Mulvaney: report
President Donald Trump is considering firing Mick Mulvaney, his acting White House chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget, The Atlantic reported Friday.
"Mick Mulvaney's job was in danger even before his disastrous press conference yesterday, and his equally disastrous attempt to walk that performance back," The Atlantic reported. "The fumble could not have been more poorly timed: According to multiple current and former White House officials, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to relay private conversations, Trump has been steadily souring on Mulvaney for weeks."
Michael Moore predicts Mick Mulvaney will get into Heaven after confessing Trump’s quid pro quo
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore predicted acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will ascend to Heaven in the afterlife during a Friday interview on MSNBC's "The Beat" with Ari Melber.
The host played a clip of Mulvaney admitting Trump's quid pro quo while seeking foreign election assistance from Ukraine.
"This man obviously is going to be admitted into Heaven," Moore said. "You know, he told the truth."
"If there was a movie version of this, somebody stuck him with a needle just before he walked out onto the stage there, a truth serum needle, and he just went on and on saying, 'Yeah, that’s what we do. Yeah, of course.' Essentially admitting there is a quid pro quo. In fact, there are many quid pro quos."