John Oliver on Trump's Syrian decision: 'The consequences have been dire'

Guardian staff

John Oliver criticised Donald Trump’s decision to pull out US troops from the Syrian-Turkish border and examined the many problems that have arisen as a result.

On Last Week Tonight, the British comic referred to Trump as “the first president elected without any prior experience as a human being” before he played footage of him bragging about the killing of the Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Related: John Oliver on Trump’s weather agency pick: ‘Allow me to make a forecast – bullshit’

Oliver said that Trump “described it in the weirdest possible way” before rewinding to examine the controversial decision to stop helping Kurdish forces on the border between Syria and Turkey. Oliver called it a catastrophe that has been “universally condemned” before explaining that nearly 180,000 people have since been displaced and 120 civilians have been killed.

Trump later explained that the Kurds didn’t help in the second world war, to which Oliver asked: “What the fuck does that have to do with anything?”

He also used examples of conflicts where the Kurds did help the US before stating: “The Kurds fought with the US military in at least two more wars than Donald Trump ever fucking did.”

Trump has also since said that he didn’t want to spend more time in Syria, a place of sand and death. “Since when does Trump avoid areas with sand and death? He owns a golf club in Florida,” Oliver quipped. But since May, Trump has increased troops in the Middle East by 14,000.

It was also revealed that Trump essentially “rolled over for Erdoğan” by deciding to withdraw so quickly.

“So, basically, America left the region the same way you leave a party right after you’ve clogged the toilet: quickly, leaving everything behind and forcing someone else to deal with all the shit,” he said.

Since the withdrawal, “the consequences have been dire” and more than 100 Isis prisoners have escaped.

At a rally, Trump said that Turkey’s military incursion into Syria was needed, comparing it to letting two small children fight it out before stepping in. “He’s not just a shitty president and a shitty person, he’s a shitty dad,” Oliver said. “Thank God he never had to raise any children.”

It has also led to new alliances which could lead to long-term ramifications. “So Trump has made a snap decision where the big winners are Putin, Erdoğan, Assad and Isis and that is a group you do not want to be friendly with, although I actually believe they were all at a Cowboys game with Ellen this weekend,” he joked. “Look, we’re all different and that’s OK.”

While Oliver does point out that it’s an impossible situation to get right, “it’s genuinely hard to get it this wrong.”

He continued: “This was an unforced error. Trump chose to do something this sudden, this impetuous and this damaging and he’s just not going to change.”