John Oliver and Last Week Tonight returned from its winter break Sunday to deliver a scathing look at Donald Trump‘s foreign policy (or lack thereof) and how the world views it, from vacant ambassadorships in crucial nations to an “America First” mandate that alienates allies.
Oliver quickly ran down Trump’s list of international follies – the “shithole countries” remark, retweeting British hate groups, angering South Korea and making false statements about Germany – before examining what exactly is the Trump administration’s foreign policy.
“The rest of the world continues to exist whether Trump acknowledges it or not,” Oliver said. “I know that Donald Trump and others may not give a shit about what the world thinks of us, but they really should for a number of reasons.”
As for Trump’s campaign promise that, under his presidency, the U.S. would no longer be an international laughingstock, Oliver noted, “For the record, since Trump became president, if anything, the world is laughing harder than ever before. Because, while U.S. presidents do get made fun of, impersonating Trump has become an international cottage industry.”
Oliver also explored the global “leadership vacuum” that has resulted from Trump’s “America First” policy, the president’s plummeting global approval rating and how allied nations have announced that could no longer rely on the United States under Trump’s leadership.
“Look, I know that all of this is depressing, because it seems like America’s reputation overseas is under attack from its own president,” Oliver said. “Which is just ridiculous: Soft power is an act of salesmanship, it’s selling your brand, it’s the one thing that Trump’s supposed to be good at and he’s fucking blowing it.”
Oliver then recruited the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus to remind the world that, despite Trump, America isn’t all bad: This is the land that created YouTube, Batmobile beds and those giant T-Rex costumes and the home of Popeye’s Chicken and Smashmouth’s “All Star.”
“Please, world. For the next three, seven or somehow 11 years, remember that this is the country of Donald Trump, yes,” Oliver said. “But it’s also the country profoundly embarrassed by him.”