Speed Reads


John Oliver details how Trump and Fox News are winning their fight to discredit the Mueller probe, O.J. style

A year into Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, President Trump and his allies are openly and actively trying to discredit it, John Oliver said on Sunday's Last Week Tonight. And while "everyone involved is dumb and terrible and bad at everything," their efforts are working.

If Trump can't be indicted, then impeachment is the only remedy if Trump committed a crime — an open question — and impeachment is a political process, where public opinion really does matter, Oliver said. "The question, 'Did a hostile a foreign government try to manipulate our election?' is something any reasonable person should want answered quickly, and yet, an increasing number of Americans seem to want the investigation to stop." To understand how Trump and his lawyers are fueling this trend, you really need to know what's going on with "Trump's TV friends," he argued.

Sean Hannity and other Fox News personalities are trying to "redefine the investigation on their terms," like hammering on "collusion," a word Mueller's broad mandate doesn't even mention, Oliver noted. "Saying the investigation has to shut down if there's no collusion is like saying a game of Scrabble has to end because you've fit all the letters in your mouth." They also employ "whataboutism" and work to build a counternarrative, like "spygate."

These conspiracy theories are impervious to fact, they "can make it easy to forget just how bad what we actually do know already is," and they don't even address "the most obvious question" — why did Trump win? Oliver said. "Basically everyone in the country got together to steal an election, and then, for some reason, forgot to do it?" But while the Trump team's tactics are "transparent, illogical, and dump," they're also "depressingly effective," he sighed, making a specific comparison: "Trump is going full O.J., and it's working." Watch his explanation, and his argument against shutting down Mueller's investigation, in the frequently NSFW video below. Peter Weber