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♪ ("LAST WEEK TONIGHT" THEME PLAYS) ♪
Hi there. Welcome to the show,
still coming to you from this blank void,
which I don't think is purgatory,
but I can't prove otherwise.
And we're gonna jump straight in
with our main story this week,
which unfortunately, for the second week in a row,
concerns the election we just had, and believe me,
I'm just as disappointed as you about that.
I would much rather spend tonight
talking about this rare turtle found in West Bengal.
Look how yellow it is!
It looks like he got into some trouble
with the turtle mafia while trying to disguise itself
as a peanut M&M.
It looks like it went to a costume party
dressed as the less healthy part of the egg.
According to experts...
But according to me, you can go ahead and drop
that little factoid in a file labeled "Who gives a shit?"
Because look how fucking yellow that turtle is!
We could've done this whole show
about this shiny, cheddar cheese mistake, but instead,
we have to talk about this asshole
because in normal times,
the loser of a presidential election
would simply acknowledge that they lost,
and the country would get to move on.
But as of our taping on Saturday,
a full week after the election was called,
Trump is still refusing to concede.
And while that is not remotely surprising,
what has been disappointing has been shit like this.
CBS REPORTER: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent shockwaves
when he appeared to dismiss the election results.
There will be a smooth transition
to a second Trump administration.
(CHUCKLES) All right. We're ready.
What the fuck are you talking about, you business Grimace?
You're the Secretary of State.
You're supposed to forcefully denounce coups
and look the other way if the CIA does one
in Central or South America.
That is literally your whole job.
And while some have suggested that Pompeo was joking there,
he also hasn't yet acknowledged that Biden is president-elect
nor have most Republicans.
Mitch McConnell not only claimed Trump is 100 percent
within his rights to challenge the election results,
he went on to say this.
Let's not have any lectures,
no lectures about how the president
should immediately,
cheerfully accept preliminary election results
from the same characters who just spent four years
refusing to accept the validity of the last election.
Okay. First, no one expected Trump to immediately,
cheerfully accept the results.
He's incapable of cheerfully accepting anything
apart from blowjobs, Nazi endorsements,
and the opportunity to scream inside a stranger's truck.
Whose truck is that?
I tell you who definitely doesn't care. This guy.
It's his truck now. Honk! Honk!
And second, while there were some on the left in 2016
who urged fighting the results,
Hillary formally conceded the day after the election,
and Obama had Trump in the White House
the day after that. And yet, Republicans
are trying to defend their support
for Trump's indefensible behavior
with one senior official saying...
A question that never ends well,
whether the ones asking it are overworked parents
who need a break or the Weimar Republic.
So tonight,
let's look at just how weak Trump's case
for overturning this election is
and what real harm humoring him will do.
And let's start with the case itself
because there are lots of accusations and lawsuits
flying around right now, and if you are a casual viewer
of right-wing media, you might think,
"Well, there must be something here.
They wouldn't be going to all this trouble over nothing."
But the thing is they are.
This really is nothing.
And let's start with the frequently made claim
about dead voters. If your uncle is a nightmare
and you're still friends on Facebook,
you might have seen this post claiming there a list
of 14,000 dead people who voted in Michigan,
but when CNN picked out 50 of the names to do a spot check,
they discovered...
Meaning exactly zero were dead people who voted.
And yes, that is just a sample,
but you are at an Oreo factory
and 50 out of 50 Oreos you picked off the line
were just two rats squished around a used condom,
you might well not risk trusting
the next cookie that comes past you.
The claim of dead people voting
was also advanced by Tucker Carlson,
an 80s ski bully who just lost the big race.
And he went in big on one example in particular.
In some ways, it's an inspiring story:
the triumph of voting over death.
And no one quite embodies that story
like James Blalock of Covington, Georgia.
Mr. Blalock was a mailman for 33 years
until he passed away in 2006. 14 years later,
according to state records, he was still mailing things.
James Blalock cast a ballot in last week's election.
How did he do that?
Ooh, that's an excellent question,
you waiter's nightmare.
Now, that segment got picked up and circulated by among others,
Matt Gaetz and the Trump campaign itself.
And it does make you wonder how did that dead man vote.
Maybe his widow has an answer.
He didn't vote.
-REPORTER: It was you. -It was me.
REPORTER: Agnes Blalock voted
using her married name, Newton County confirmed.
Her voter registration was signed
as Mrs. James E. Blalock, Jr.,
and that's exactly how she signed her name when she voted
in the November 3rd general election.
Who did you vote for?
You don't have to share that.
I voted for the Democrats.
-For Biden. -REPORTER: I see.
I guess I voted against the other one, really.
Okay, so the claim was bullshit.
He didn't vote. She did.
And by the way, not so much for Biden
as against the other one,
meaning this 96-year-old's approach
to the election was pretty much the same
as that of 20-year-old progressives.
I wonder what else they have in common.
Does she also have a collection of dank memes
and spends five hours a day
calling Bill de Blasio a bitch on Twitter?
I really hope so.
Then, there were claims from numerous supposed whistleblowers.
In fact, Lindsey Graham,
Leslie Jordan's absolute worst character,
sent a letter to the DOJ,
asking them to investigate particular claims
by a postal worker in Erie, Pennsylvania,
who said in an affidavit, that he heard postmarks
were being backdated on mail-in ballots
to make it appear as though
they'd been collected on Election Day.
But unfortunately for Graham, that man later recanted
those claims in his affidavit when talking to investigators.
And while is he now insisting that he stands by his initial statements,
the really important thing to know is the total number
of ballots from his post office,
they were postmarked November 3rd
and delivered to the board of elections later.
So, the maximum number that could've had
their date changed was two,
which is, and this is true, not the number of votes
Joe Biden won Pennsylvania by.
But perhaps the strangest whistleblower accusation
involved a poll worker in Nevada who Fox gave
a primetime slot to make her claims.
(DISTORTED VOICE) I went out to go for a walk on my break
and I probably had a 150, 175-foot stretch
where I was walking...
Oh, sorry I really should've mentioned they disguised
her identity by making her sound like
Megan Mullaly undergoing an exorcism.
But I'll let her continue.
Basically she claims she saw a Biden-Harris campaign van
outside the polling place with people handling white envelopes. Go!
As I got closer, the envelopes were being torn open.
There were two men or two people dropping the envelopes.
And two people ripping them open and turning and facing the van
and drawing on them or marking them.
And as I walked by, I looked and I go,
-"Those are ballots." -Okay. I'm just gonna say it.
That is either total bullshit or the dumbest scheme of all time.
The Biden-Harris campaign opened envelopes
and marked ballots in the parking lot
of a polling place in broad daylight
against the side of a van which had their logo on it.
That is like if in Oceans 11 they showed up to the casino
in a giant Danny Ocean's robbery service van,
and slowly put on their disguises in the lobby.
It's the perfect crime!
Also, that woman hasn't yet filed a formal complaint.
According to the Nevada AG's office,
all they've received is...
Meaning they have no way to begin a proper investigation
and that has been something of a pattern here.
The Trump team making claims of widespread fraud publicly,
but there then being a huge drop off when it comes to
what they're actually filing in court.
In Michigan, they submitted a lawsuit with 234 pages
of affidavits from poll watchers,
but those who actually read them found that they...
Instead, they're either allegations from people
who don't seem to fully understand
how the vote counting process works
so are questioning some pretty commonplace things
or they are petty bullshit like...
Neither of which are illegal.
And if it helps here, let me just head-off
any future Trump campaign lawsuits.
A poll worker eating a banana is not evidence of voter fraud.
One humming the chorus of "Uptown Girl" is not evidence of voter fraud.
Now, wearing a baseball cap could be evidence
of voter fraud, but only if the person wearing it
is putting ballot votes into a paper shredder.
If it's just the hat part, that again is not evidence of voter fraud.
So look, I could spend the rest of this show
debunking stories. The problem is it's endless.
The latest claim is voting machines or software
changed votes even though
this government cyber security agency created by
an act that Trump himself signed released a statement saying...
In fact, as of this taping, one of the few
seemingly legitimate cases against anyone
for voter fraud this year has been this:
WNEP REPORTER: Luzerne County officials say for the first time
in 30 years there's been a voter fraud arrest.
Country detectives say Robert Lynn of Forty Fort
signed his deceased mother's name
on an absentee ballot application and that's a crime.
Lynn is a registered Republican.
Court paperwork shows the application flagged
in September, and election officials
reported it to country detectives.
Yeah. That's one person allegedly trying to steal
one vote that was flagged in September,
and the person involved was a Trump supporter.
And this is not the most important thing,
but it happened in a town called Forty Fort,
which is just delightful.
Just say the words "Forty Fort" out loud right now.
Forty Fort. It feel so good in the mouth.
Now, apparently the town was named after
the original 40 settlers who built a fort there,
but I call bullshit on that because I refuse to believe
that there just happened to be 40 settlers who named their fort
Forty Fort without being fully aware
of how funny that sounds. Here is what I think happened.
They built the fort, and one settler said,
"What should we call this place?"
And another said, "Who cares. Let's just call it Forty Fort."
And everyone justifiably laughed very hard
and agreed to do just that.
Then another settler, who no one really liked, said,
"Wait! What if someone asks why we called it Forty Fort?
We can't just say we did it
because we thought it was funny."
And everyone quietly muttered,
"Oh, my God, Ezekiel. You suck so much,"
So, then they said, "Okay.
If anyone asks, we called it Forty Fort
because there are 40 of us. I mean, there aren't.
But who's gonna call us out on that?
It's fucking 1770 and most people can't read.
And that is how Forty Fort got its name.
I will take that story to my gravy grave.
And for the record, I have exactly as much evidence
to back that up as Republicans currently do
of widespread voter fraud in this election.
So, the allegations here are complete nonsense.
And who knows why Republicans are entertaining this.
Maybe it's to do with the fact that Georgia has
two senate runoffs coming up
and they want to keep Trump happy
so it'll help rally voters for them there.
Maybe they're carrying favor with him because they're worried
that he'll be a power broker going forward. I don't know.
What I do know is that the answer to the question
what is the downside of humoring him is a lot.
Because this administration's refusal to acknowledge
the election's outcome is that Biden is not getting
high level intelligence reports and can't access funds
meant to facilitate his transition.
And then of course there is this.
NBC REPORTER: President Trump's ongoing refusal to concede the race
is complicating Biden's pandemic planning.
Until the Trump administration formally recognizes Biden
as president-elect, outgoing Trump officials
can't share critical COVID vaccine distribution plans
with the incoming Biden team.
Yeah! And that's not great.
With cases spiking to a terrifying extent,
you really want the new team handling the pandemic,
to be able to talk to the old team.
Even if, as I suspect, the old team's plan was just
a single whiteboard in Jared's office
with nothing on it except for...
Circled five times
and then a drawing of Donald Trump saying...
But the damage of indulging Trump goes even further.
Because it also plays into grim fantasies
of embattled Trump supporters.
Something expressed perhaps most dramatically and stupidly
by the actor Jon Voight,
in this video that Trump himself retweeted on Wednesday.
My fellow Americans...
I stand here with all that feel as I do,
disgusted with this lie.
That Biden has been chosen.
As if we all don't know the truth.
This is now our greatest fight since the Civil War.
The battle of righteousness versus Satan. Yes, Satan.
Let us fight this fight as if it is our last fight on earth.
As Muhammad Ali said,
"It's not over, till the last punch you have."
Okay. There's a lot there.
From doubling down on calling the left "Satan," to saying,
"I stand here," when he's clearly sitting,
to that Muhammad Ali quote which we could not find
any record of him saying. Which does make sense
because it doesn't really sound like Muhammad Ali.
It doesn't have the rhetorical flair of...
Or the wit of...
Sounds less like Muhammad Ali and more like a blurb
on a bootleg VHS cover of Rocky IV.
And sure, that's a ridiculous video,
but the fact is, a lot of people believe stuff like that.
And when you continually insist that the election was stolen
in big cities and suggest that remedying this
calls for the biggest fight since the Civil War,
things start to get deadly serious.
Last Thursday, two armed men were arrested outside
a Philadelphia convention center after police had received a tip
about a threat to the vote-counting site.
And one of the city commissioners
in charge of ballot-counting,
a Republican, by the way, has been understandably rattled
by the chaos engulfing his office.
From the inside-looking out, it feels all very deranged.
It's people making accusations
that we wouldn't count "those" votes or...
people are adding fraudulent votes or...
um, just coming up with, just all sorts of crazy stuff.
Accusations like, "You are cheating."
Yes.
"You are manipulating the vote."
Yes. Or calls to our offices, reminding us that, um...
"This is what the Second Amendment is for.
People like us."
-You're getting calls like that? -Yes.
That's a not-so-veiled death threat.
Yes. For counting votes. In a democracy.
That's awful.
And Trump is playing a dangerous game here.
Because there is a huge difference between
"Not my president" and "Not the president."
And to be clear, people who are that angry
are not riling themselves up in a vacuum.
They've been fed a steady diet
of misinformation, bullshit fraud claims
and a victim narrative from outlets like...
And most importantly, Trump himself.
Who's Twitter feed this week
oscillated between Breitbart articles,
nonsense claims that he won Pennsylvania and one long reply
to Scott Baio, who you might know from Happy Days or from...
Where he starred alongside none other than Jon Voight.
I bet they had a lot of fun on set,
because I guarantee, no one else did.
And infuriatingly,
Trump has chosen to sow all this chaos around the election,
despite the fact that deep down, he knows it's over.
Friday afternoon,
the final states were called by most outlets,
putting Joe Biden at 306 electoral votes, to Trump's 232.
And during a press conference Trump held,
just a few hours later, he nearly acknowledged reality.
Ideally, we won't go to a lockdown. I will not go--
This administration will not be going to a lockdown.
Hopefully the, the, uh... whatever happens in the future,
who knows which administration it will be,
I guess time will tell, but... uh, I can tell you,
this administration will not go to a lockdown.
Except no, time will not tell, time has told!
Trump lost this election and he knows it.
And yet, just an hour after that press conference,
he was retweeting voter fraud conspiracies again.
Which is pathetic, dangerous and many ways,
an appropriate code
to a presidency that has destroyed so many lives.
Not only, of those that he's attacked, but also,
of those he's claimed to protect.
So many of us have lost loved ones.
Either because you can no longer square your love for them
with their love for him.
Or because they fell down a mind-melting rabbit hole
of conspiracy theories that he happily perpetuated.
Or, because he let a deadly virus run wild
and it fucking killed them!
And now, as a parting gift to the country,
Trump is somehow managing to divide us even further,
while also hobbling his successor
at the worst possible time.
Which is absolutely unforgiveable.
And yes,
the fact that Trump won't be president next year is good.
It's really good!
But there is a lot of work to do and at least in the short term,
things are going to suck for a while.
But we have to try and repair this damage.
In fact, as a great fighter once said...
Well, I don't know, some shit like that.
I don't remember anymore.