Yet another development in he ongoing Washington scandal John Oliver calls Stupid Watergate – like Watergate except, instead of inspiring Oscar-winning movies, it will be the basis of “direct to cable comedies featuring fart jokes and Larry the Cable Guy,” HBO’s late-night host explained.
With investigators seemingly closing in on multiple fronts, President Donald Trump apparently fears for Donald Jr. Sources told Washington Post Trump “does not believe his son purposefully broke the law, but is fearful nonetheless that Trump Jr. inadvertently may have wandered into legal jeopardy.”
On the long list of Things Donald Jr. is likely to have wandered into, Oliver puts Legal Jeopardy right up there with Women’s Dressing Room and A Screen Door.
Just hours before Last Week Tonight aired, Trump tweeted, “Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!”
Most galling line there is describing DJ as a “wonderful son” which Oliver said is flagrantly false, Don Jr. being “barely even the most wonderful Donald Trump.”
The other legal case POTUS was following closely this week is the trial of his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, “a man who could be convicted of every crime on earth and still not be as guilty as he looks,” Oliver snarked.
Manafort was in court this week, charged with money laundering, tax evasion, obstruction of justice and bank fraud. He’s currently charged with 32 counts of fraud.
Trump is outraged, tweeting that he wonders who was treated worse, Al Capone or Manafort while he awaited trial. The argument there, Oliver translated, is that Manafort is less of a criminal than America’s Most Famous Criminal.
Prosecutors put Manafort’s lavish lifestyle on display in tantalizing detail, from his $10K karaoke system, to the $450K he spent on landscaping his Hamptons house, including a man-made waterfall and one red flower bed in the shape of an M.
Most of the attention, however, has been about the $1.3M Manafort allegedly spent on clothes between 2010 and ’14, and his extreme bad taste. It includes an $18K python jacket, and $9K on ostrich vest to to with the $15K ostrich jacket. The jacket, which Oliver described as looking like an outfit intended for “people who also have a subscription to Readers Digest” has a hood “for when you want to wear your $15K jacket out in the rain. Like a f*cking idiot.”
The judge has made clear he likely won’t allow the outfits to be shown to the jury, which Oliver said is probably good for Manafort, because if they saw his I Framed Roger Rabbit jacket, he wouldn’t stand a chance.
Many of Manafort’s jackets were purchased from House of Bijan in Beverly Hills, which Oliver insisted sounds more like a place you would buy knockoff mustard.
Trump’s team at Fox News points out this damning evidence is not about Manafort’s work on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Which is true on the surface, but also “not exactly not about it either,” Oliver insisted. The former presidential campaign manager allegedly received millions of dollars in illicit payments from thuggish Kremlin puppets and yet, despite all the money he saved not paying taxes, he still went broke supporting his crippling addiction to bad jackets. Yet, for some reason he agreed to work for Trump for free.
Who knows why Manafort did that? “You probably do, and I probably do, and anyone brief on the broad strokes of the situation even in the vaguest possible terms probably does,” Oliver said. “But no one besides basically anyone can say for sure.”
Meanwhile, during his main segment, on the criminal justice system, Oliver played a segment from PBS’s Frontline in which a judge explains how, owing to case overload, the criminal justice system only works if lots of people cut a plea bargain with prosecutors who decide to press charges, sometimes even those who are not guilty, because if every case went to trial the system would collapse.
The inadequate system only functions if people constantly give up, the judge explained, which Oliver noted, is “built on the exact same model as AT&T’s Customer Service hotline.”
“That’s right, AT&T, new owners of HBO, longtime owners of an unforgivably dog-sh*t customer service line.”
And, one night after winning the TCA Awards’ first ever trophy for best late night show, Oliver used his opening video to give a passing nod to LeBron James, who had tweet-tacked over the weekend by President Donald Trump. CNN re-aired Don Lemon’s interview with James last Friday, to which Trump reacted, calling the CNN anchor “dumbest man on television” who made “Lebron [sic] look smart, which isn’t easy to do.”
Asked to respond, the office of First Lady Melania Trump, who has made anti-bullying one of her “things” in the White House, issued a statement praising James his charitable work on behalf of children.