John Oliver Calls Out Trump's April Ryan Exchange For Exactly What It Is
You can always count on John Oliver to cover some of the most newsworthy events of the week — even if they went largely unnoticed at the time. On Thursday, Donald Trump's press conference naturally drew immense publicity, but one particular exchange between Trump and journalist April Ryan was particularly concerning. Oliver delved more deeply into just why Trump's words to the reporter were one of the more worrisome parts of the event that left more than one news anchor simply responding with "wow."
Oliver cut to the chase, and when he describes this exchange as "amazing," you can bet he's being wildly sarcastic.
Nothing summed up Trump's week better than his bat-sh*t crazy press conference on Thursday, including this amazing exchange with an African American journalist.
During the conference, Ryan, who is African-American, asked Trump if he planned on setting up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, an organization that represents African-American congress members.
"I'll tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting?" Trump shot back at her in response. "Do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?"
Oliver found not just one, but two major things wrong with the president's assumption-laden response.
The man is incredible because what hits you first there is the racism of assuming that all black people are friends. And then it’s not until later that you really appreciate the sexism of thinking that all women are there to perform secretarial tasks for you. The guy packs so much into so little.
And Oliver is right about both points. In just a dozen words, Trump managed to insinuate that he thought Ryan knew CBC members because she is African-American, and that as a professional reporter, she somehow has time to set up an appointment for him. Some may claim that I'm spinning his words the wrong way. But in reality, I wouldn't have to say any of this if Trump answered Ryan's fair question instead of dodging it. Ultimately, that's because he refused to take her question seriously.
Following the press conference, CNN's Brooke Baldwin interviewed Ryan, who explained how she felt about the exchange.
But as far as facilitating that meeting or convening that meeting, that is not my place. Every White House has someone to deal with this kind of meeting or this kind of bringing together of people ... It's up to that person in this White House to do that.
And Oliver, like Ryan, is calling it out as he sees it — plain and simple.
Images: HBO's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver