On Last Week Tonight, John Oliver merrily praised James Comey for his painstakingly constructed testimony against President Trump’s behavior while he tried to shut down a federal investigation. In doing so, Oliver first zeroed in Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) asking a question (whether Trump colluded with Russia) that Comey clearly couldn’t answer in an open session while investigations are ongoing. As Oliver surmised, Comey was thinking, “I have been screaming the word ‘yes’ into this paper bag for the last four weeks.” And the phenomenon grew more pointed over Jeff Sessions’ recusal from Russia probes and the FBI’s utter lack of surprise, particularly when Comey hinted at something new. “There are facts about that I cannot discuss in an open setting,” he said, “That would have made Sessions continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation ‘problematic.’”
Oliver credited Comey with crafting his answer-to-a-question-that-he-could-not-publicly-answer in such a way that a subliminal “Yes!” couldn’t have been more obvious. The host then wove through multiple Fox News personalities (except for Sean Hannity) who “struggl[ed] to spin any positives” before landing upon Trump’s reaction that he found to be hilariously tone-deaf. The President was “essentially claiming he’s been vindicated by testimony he’s claiming is false,” which completed his devolution into “a walking logical paradox.” And when Trump offered to testify, oh boy:
“Holy sh*t, Trump just volunteered to testify under oath, putting himself in a situation where it’s his word against Comey’s And it was notable that for all the pushback senators gave Comey, they never once questioned his honesty or his integrity or challenged his characterization of Trump as a liar. So, why did Trump just seem to expose himself like that? I don’t know! I cannot explain his behavior. Jane Goodall could not explain his behavior.”
Oliver then gleefully dismantled House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “truly pathetic” justification for Trump as being “new to this.” Oliver insisted that anyone — even a political outsider — should know that trying to shut down an FBI investigation of a subordinate (Michael Flynn) is something that one clearly knows is wrong, just like daycare workers know what they can’t do before beginning their jobs. And Oliver finished with a flourish with a glorious Fight Club analogy — “the first rule of Baby Fight Club is that you cannot talk about Baby Fight Club” — to explain why Comey’s answer about Jeff Sessions was his most carefully honed statement of all.
Written By: Kimberly Ricci