Last Week Tonight started things off with North Korea on Sunday and took a quick turn to the first lady. John Oliver dissected President Trump's decision to reinstate a summit with Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12 — just weeks after he had called it off. What John Oliver pointed out about Trump's North Korea decision was that everything, even the country's foreign policy, changed due to a giant letter from the country's dictator. Oliver joked that for all Trump knew at the time, it could have been from Melania.
“This week, the June 12th summit between the U.S. and North Korea was suddenly back on after Trump met with a North Korean envoy who’d brought him this gigantic, comicallymoversized letter from Kim Jong-un,” Oliver told the audience. “And as if smiling while holding a letter from a dictator were not enough of a propaganda coup for North Korea, the president then raved about the letter to the press.”
On Friday, a senior North Korea official, Kim Yong Chol visited the White House and delivered the letter from the North's leader. Trump then announced that the summit, which he himself had cancelled, was back on.
Oliver's next jokes were just a mash-up of Trump on video singing the praises of the letter. Trump said, "Oh, would you like to see what was in that letter! Wouldn’t you like? How much? How much?” Then he suggested to the press that he might be able to share it. "It was a very interesting letter. At some — it may be appropriate — I may be able to give it to you, maybe,” Trump said.
Oliver suggested that this kind of talk made Trump a bad president. But he joked Trump would make an even worse Moses. The screen graphics changed to Trump holding the Ten Commandments behind his back. Oliver then pretended to be a Trump version of Moses:
Oh, wouldn’t you like to see what’s on these tablets! How much? How much? Maybe I’ll show you later, if you’re lucky.
Then, the bit that Oliver found truly incredulous happened. "Just eight minutes later, after calling the contents of the letter 'interesting,' this happened."
Cut to Trump on video saying, "I haven’t seen the letter yet. I purposefully didn't open the letter. I didn't open it in front of the director. I haven’t open it…I said [to Kim], 'Would you want me to open it?’ He said, ‘You can read it later.'”
Then Trump said, “I may be in for a big surprise, folks!” and walked away.
Oliver could hardly contain his incredulity. “Yeah you might, though! Because you just agreed to a summit without reading the contents of the letter that supposedly convinced you to do it!”
Oliver's take? In the best case, Trump may have convened a summit based on a giant letter that wasn't from the North Koreans at all, but rather his wife. "Worst case scenario: it’s a declaration of war," Oliver said. He added:
Best case scenario it says, 'Donald, It’s me. I have run away to North Korea and I’m never coming back. Melania [your third wife].'
As for what the letter actually said, it was never released by Trump, despite his suggestions that he would. The Wall Street Journal reported that it simply stated that the North's leader wanted to continue with the summit in Singapore. It reportedly didn't include anything about the North bettering its negotiations on the nuclear disarmament question.
That would be significantly better than a declaration of war, but not quite the comedic material that Oliver would use on his show. For that, he'll have to wait for the summit itself and the coming hugs between leaders.