What a time to be John Oliver and not on television. The host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight is on a brief break until July 30, but thanks to his Daily Show chum, Stephen Colbert, he was able to hit up The Late Show on Wednesday and put in his two cents on the whole Donald Trump Jr. email fiasco.
Oliver is perplexed.
“The fact we’re at a point where we’re going, ‘Do you think they understand? Is it possible there’s not a logical sequence of thoughts in their minds that have made them understand the gravity of the situation they’re in?’ The fact that we’re wondering that — and you wonder it not just with this issue, with a lot — are they just too dumb to realize what’s happening?” he questioned of the Trump administration. “And the answer is not definitely no.”
Oliver joked in the beginning of the chat that “you’d have to have an offspring who is so stupid” to cause such a scandal the way Trump Jr. did when he released his emails on Twitter and admitted his intent to obtain damning intel on Hillary Clinton from a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the presidential race.
“We called this whole looming scandal way back in March. We came up with this framing device for it called ‘Stupid Watergate’ — the idea that it’s something with all the gravitas of Watergate but where everyone involved is stupid and bad at everything,” he said. “At first, it was supposed to be a self-contained joke but current events are making it more and more relevant, which is not normally how jokes work.”
His first reaction to Trump Jr.’s emails “was probably ‘wow,’” but that changed to, ‘Well, this is something as long as we live in a world where something means anything.’” However, Oliver isn’t sure we do anymore. “It seems serious, but do we live in a world devoid of consequences now? I forget where we are in human history,” he said.
Colbert seconded that thought. “Have we come to a nation where colluding with a hostile foreign power to manipulate our election is a left-right thing?” he asked. For Oliver, “The very fact that you just said that sentence out loud shows that we are turbo f—ed.”
Watch their conversation in the clip above.