On the latest Last Week Tonight, John Oliver returned to the topic of President Donald Trump’s planned border wall between the United States and Mexico, which he has been discussing since the beginning of his 2016 campaign.
Oliver played a clip of Trump outlining his reasoning behind its construction, and reminded viewers that Last Week Tonight had played the very same clip in their first segment about the wall four years ago, “when I was approximately 50 years younger,” he said.
Trump has continued to promise the construction of the “super-duper wall” — as he’s called it during recent campaign rallies — despite the idea not only being transparently racist, but astronomically costly and largely pointless. Moreover, last week, Trump’s former advisor Steve Bannon was arrested on charges of defrauding hundreds of thousands of people by personally profiting off of a scheme to raise money for the border wall.
Oliver then outlined other challenges that Trump has faced in trying to build on the border, such as his insistence on a concrete wall design that has yet to be produced without major flaws. The Trump administration ended up settling on a wall of slats topped by a metal anti-climbing plate, which Trump reportedly hated. And, even still, a video resurfaced of two people scaling the supposedly “unclimbable” design in California.
And then comes the redundancy issue: Of the 275 miles of new wall that Trump has constructed, only five miles are in locations where no border barriers previously existed under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. The larger walls that have replaced the previous barriers have disrupted animal migratory patterns and cut through privately owned land.
Even the Department of Homeland Security, Oliver points out, issued a scathing report last month that stated that the Trump administration “did not use a sound…methodology to identify and prioritize investments in areas along the border that would best benefit from physical barriers.” In other words, Oliver says, putting up the walls just doesn’t make sense.