Brow Beat

John Oliver Chastises Trump—and the WWE—for Spreading Saudi Arabia’s Propaganda

Donald Trump’s reaction to journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance in Istanbul has been all over the map. First, the president downplayed the possibility that the journalist was killed by his country’s government, seeming more preoccupied with how Saudis “are spending $110 billion on military equipment and on things that create jobs” for the U.S. Trump then changed his tune in a CBS interview, hinting at “severe punishment” if Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave an order to kill Khashoggi. By Monday, however, Trump had a new theory about Khashoggi to offer reporters after speaking to Saudi King Salman: “It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers—who knows?”


That latest development makes John Oliver’s segment on Sunday night, about U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia, seem downright prophetic. The Last Week Tonight host delved into Trump’s relationship with the country in particular, chastising him for embracing Saudi propaganda and ignoring human rights violations to protect economic interests. But hey, at least he’s in good company: The WWE did the same thing during its Greatest Royal Rumble event in April, with John Cena and others showering the kingdom with praise. “It seems the WWE is as overtly pro–Saudi Arabia as it is latently homoerotic, which is to say, intensely,” said Oliver.

The WWE says it is “monitoring the situation” in Saudi Arabia ahead of a second event planned there in November.