Stewart hits O’Leary for Trump defense after fraud verdict: ‘The f‑‑‑ing entitled arrogance’


“The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart blasted “Shark Tank” investor Kevin O’Leary for defending former President Trump’s business tactics leading to a $464 million judgment, with interest, in a New York civil fraud trial against Trump, his company and its executives.

Stewart pushed back on the idea that crimes of tax fraud were “victimless,” during the Monday night broadcast, and criticized O’Leary for saying the verdict in Trump’s civil fraud case “didn’t go over very well with the investment community because we’re all asking each other: Who’s next?”

“Ah, who’s next,” Stewart said in response to the clip, which aired at an earlier date. “The persecuted minority of the investment community.”

“But I am surprised to hear this from Kevin O’Leary, the guy who’s such an asshole … that even the other people on ‘Shark Tank’ think he’s an asshole,” Stewart said. “I’m surprised to hear that he’s so chill about overvaluing something that he thinks is victimless because when someone tries to do that to him …”

Stewart stopped midsentence to play a compilation of moments on “Shark Tank” when O’Leary appeared to grow frustrated at entrepreneurs overvaluing their startups in pitches to the panel of venture capitalists on the television show.

“How is he not this mad about overvaluations in the real world?” Stewart said after the compilation played. “Because they are not victimless crimes.”

“First, the banks got paid back at lower interest rates — although, to be honest, who gives a shit? But second, money isn’t infinite. A loan that goes to the liar doesn’t go to someone who’s giving a more honest valuation, so the system becomes incentivized for corruption. And, this is part of a different Trump fraud case, but avoiding taxes hurts all of us. Donald Trump’s shenanigans cost the City of New York,” Stewart said, before landing the punchline.

“To be honest — and let’s be frank here — that is money that the City of New York could have used to build more Walgreens,” Stewart said. “Now, some blocks only have two of them.”

In the New York civil fraud case, Trump was found to have falsely altered his net worth and the value of various properties to receive tax and insurance benefits. The state argued he sent the false information to banks and insurers to receive better deals and loans, which the state purported is evidence of fraud. Trump was also banned from participating in New York business for three years.

O’Leary has pushed back on state action against Trump in the past, warning of the negative consequences for the investment community. He has said he would stop investing in New York because of the case.

Stewart highlighted an exchange in which O’Leary repeated a similar sentiment, when CNN anchor Laura Coates listed off a series of crimes alleged in Trump’s fraud case, including falsification of business records, issuing false financial statements, insurance fraud, and conspiracy.

“Those are actual crimes,” Coates continued, in a clip of the CNN interview Stewart played Monday. “I take it your point is that these should not have been prosecuted?”

“Everything you just listed off is done by every real estate developer everywhere on Earth. In every city,” O’Leary replied to Coates. “This has never ever been prosecuted.”

“Leave it to Kevin O’Leary to be unaware enough to say the quiet part out loud,” Stewart said.

Stewart pushed back on the argument itself and noted that a crime does not become legal just because it is committed frequently.

“There is a theory in law that if enough people commit a crime, it automatically becomes legal. You’re familiar with the purge, are you not?” Stewart said, facetiously. “The f‑‑‑ing entitled arrogance.”

“I don’t know if you know this, but most people just can’t commit fraud and expect to face no repercussions, even if everyone’s doing it. Try getting a car loan by saying you have 10 times as much money as you really do or claim 20 dependents when you have no children, or say you make slightly less money to qualify for food assistance, I will guarantee you — there are not just financial consequences for those lies, but criminal ones.”

“But don’t tell that to the investment community because in their minds, in pursuit of profit, there is no rule that cannot be bent,” Stewart continued. “There is no principle that cannot be undercut as long as you and your f‑‑‑ing friends are making money.”

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