“There is a pattern here,” Oliver said. “Trump sees something that jibes with his world view, doesn’t check it, half remembers it, and then passes it on—at which point it’s taken a life of its own and appears to validate itself.”

As an example, he points to Trump’s oft-stated claim of voter fraud, which he explains is why Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.

That claim, which is not supported by any evidence, was traced back to a series of tweets in November by a user named Gregg Phillips, who had described himself as the founder of a voter-fraud reporting app.

Shortly after Phillips tweeted the claims, the conspiracy website Infowars wrote about the 3 million figure. Within days, Trump started tweeting about voter fraud, which though widely debunked is something many people believe.

“The end game here is obvious,” says Oliver. “With a completely delegitimized press, you’ll only have one source to get your news from.”

And since that source is often short on facts but does pay careful attention to cable news, Oliver said he is taking out ads on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News in the Washington DC area between 8:30am and 9am to “in an attempt to bring him up to speed on information he may lack.” A preview of these ads include an explanation of the nuclear triad, the Geneva Convention, and the name of his younger daughter, Tiffany.

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