Speed Reads

Johnsplaining

John Oliver explains how Trump's growing Russia scandal is like Watergate, only stupider

John Oliver began Sunday's Last Week Tonight with the big news of the week — and, increasingly, the big news every week: President Trump. And more specifically, the unfolding tale of Trump and the Trump campaign's odd relationship with Russia. This week, Trump's best news day was immediately quashed by news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and apparently lied to the Senate under oath about it — followed by revelations or new scrutiny of other meetings between top Trump advisers and Kislyak, and their squirrelly responses when confronted.

"There is nothing inherently wrong" with meeting the Russian ambassador, Oliver said, "but it doesn't look great that every time Trump associates are asked about Russia, they respond like they're trying to hide something." He played some clips, then laid out his thesis: "Look, it is not clear what is really going on here yet, although one possibility is that this all amounts to what I'm going to call 'Stupid Watergate' — a potential scandal with all the intrigue of Watergate, except everyone involved is really bad at everything, and the relevant question isn't so much of 'What did the president know and when did he know it' as it is 'Is the president physically capable of knowing things at all?'"

As evidence for his last point, Oliver rolled his eyes over Trump's weekend of tweeting accusations that former President Barack Obama tapped his phones (and fuming that Republicans did not back him up sufficiently). Not only did Trump provide no evidence to back up his claim (and misspell "tapp"), but he apparently got his "intelligence" from a Breitbart News article summarizing a theory from right-wing radio host Mark Levin. "Okay, I think we can now officially declare that Trump has a worse media diet than the Son of Sam killer," Oliver said, "and he got all his news from a talking dog who told him to murder." Watch below — with the warning that there is some NSFW language and imagery. Peter Weber