“Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver closed out his season with a special report for Fox News hosts who seem to be struggling with the basic understanding of things like “bribery” or the concept that attempted crimes are still actually crimes.
At the top of Sunday’s show, Oliver played a clip of Fox News host Laura Ingraham who made the argument that if Trump tried to commit a crime and didn’t manage to pull it off, then he’s clearly innocent.
“Attempted bribery isn’t in the constitution,” proclaimed Ingraham, forgetting about what “high crimes and misdemeanors” covers. “Remember, Ukraine got its aid, it was 14 days delayed, big deal. And Ukraine never made any public statement about the investigation.”
“So, wait, hold on,” Oliver cut in. “She’s saying that because the deal didn’t go through, it didn’t matter. But crime doesn’t stop being a crime if it doesn’t work. If you’re trying to blow up an airline and your vest doesn’t go off, you don’t get to go, ‘Welp, no harm, no foul.’ And then sit there watching Detective Pikachu for the rest of the flight. Also, Ukraine only got its aid after the House started asking questions. And the Ukraine president was days away from publicly announcing investigations but canceled his announcement at the last minute after this story started breaking. So, the ‘nothing to see here’ defense is pretty shakey.”
The next argument from Republicans is that the only evidence against Trump is “hearsay.” Oliver explained that it doesn’t matter, because multiple people with varying degrees of evidence, including first-hand knowledge, have come forward to say that Trump was pressuring Ukraine to announce a fake investigation into a fake scandal involving a potential political opponent.
One of the greatest examples of people with first-hand knowledge of the incident was chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who announced live on television that Trump attempted to bribe Ukraine, asking, “So what?”
“So, yes, the fact that there was a quid pro quo is all hearsay, in that you hear people say it all the f*cking time!” Oliver shouted.
The fall-back defense from the right is a partial admission of guilt like, “yes, there was a quid pro quo, but those are totally fine.” He showed an interview with a Republican Party chairwoman who tried to give that defense and ended up humiliating herself on national television. She explained that presidents make deals all the time, and Oliver pointed out that she’s right. Typically presidents make deals for the sake of the United States not for the sake of their own economic or political interest, as Trump did here.
“That’s Trump,” she explained. “I mean, do we want Trump not to be Trump?”
“Yes!” Oliver exclaimed. “Yes! So badly!”
He explained that it’s like Teddy Roosevelt’s famous saying, “speak softly and carry a big stick” were actually “speak softly and try to get as many sticks as possible for your personal stick collection.”
Another argument the right is claiming that the scandal is simply too boring to even care about. Oliver put that argument to rest, saying that if people don’t like this scandal, there are several others involving a payoff to a porn model, hacking from Russia, obstructions of justice similar to Nixons, and many more.
“Pick the Trump scandal you prefer; there’s one for everyone,” Oliver said.
Finally, the Republicans are claiming this scandal is too complicated to understand. Perhaps it is for the likes of Fox News, which can’t even accomplish the “news” part of their name without the president losing his mind.
In one Fox & Friends clip, Steve Doocy had to inform a Washington Times editor that “quid pro quo” was Latin, something one would hope he would know after working in the news business for decades. Having to ask Doocy a question is particularly embarrassing since, as Oliver said, his business card even declares himself “an idiot.”
Watch the last Oliver of the season below:
Chief Justice John Roberts is far from the impartial savior Democrats are hoping he’ll be: PBS host
During an MSNBC panel discussion Sunday evening, Alexander Heffner, PBS host of "The Open Mind," cautioned against putting faith in Chief Justice John Roberts.
In an interview with Rev. Al Sharpton, Heffner outlined why Roberts' impartiality isn't exactly what Democrats think it is.
"But I'm tired of hearing about Chief Justice Roberts impartiality, this idea that he's some kind of paragon of constitutional order," Heffner said. "The proof is in the pudding. The reality is this Supreme Court had an opportunity to review the cases about whether the public should have access to Trump's business and personal tax returns, whether the public should have the testimony of [John] Bolton and company."
Ken Starr is an awful choice for Trump’s legal team because he’ll look like a hypocrite: Former federal prosecutor
President Donald Trump has a severe hypocrisy problem, and it has extended to his legal team. In a CNN explainer answering legal questions from viewers, former state and federal prosecutor Eli Honig explained that the choice of Ken Starr for Trump's legal team was a terrible idea.
Trump has chosen lawyers that are like a Fox News legal discussion panel. Pat Cipollone, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Wray, Pam Bondi and Jay Sekulow are all key people Trump has called on to defend him. But one person stands out, Honig explained. Ken Starr.
"He may emerge as a symbol of hypocrisy," Honig said. "He was the independent counsel who pursued Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Ken Starr turned over Heaven and Earth in his investigation of Bill Clinton. He talked to everyone who ever had known Monica Lewinsky, ex-boyfriends, teachers, window washers. And here he's going to say you shouldn't be hearing from primary witnesses?"
‘Comparing yourself to terrorists?’ Internet cracks up at Trump saying dead 9-11 hijackers got more justice than him
President Donald Trump quoted Fox News host Mark Levin that left many scratching their heads. Levin, who has a show on Sunday evenings, claimed that the terrorists from Sept. 11 got more due process than the president.
The claim was a curious one because, as many on Twitter noted, it's not often that the president of the United States compares himself to a terrorist. Secondly, the 9-11 hijackers all died in the attack, as they were on the planes that crashed into the buildings and into a Pennsylvania field.
Trump is known to quote Levin frequently, though the citations often make the president look worse.