John Oliver goes long on the Mueller report

Oliver: 'Incompetence' and 'disobedience' were key

By Frank Pallotta, CNN Business
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

"Last Week Tonight with John Oliver"

(CNN) - John Oliver had plenty to say about the biggest story of the week: the release of the Mueller report.

The HBO talk show host spent half of Sunday night's episode of "Last Week Tonight" explaining the findings of the Mueller report. Oliver's discussion was the latest installment of what the show has been calling "Stupid Watergate."

"Basically Watergate, but if Nixon had been kicked in the head by a billy goat and also if that billy goat had been the White House chief of staff," Oliver said.

Oliver explained that once the Mueller report was released that there was "a lot in it," including Trump saying that the appointment of Mueller would be the end of presidency and that he was "f****d."

"And while we obviously don't know whether Trump will face any repercussions from this report, I'd like to just live for a little longer in the moment of him saying, 'This is the end of my presidency. I'm f****d,'" Oliver said.

Oliver said that the show couldn't cover the whole 448-page report but wanted to concentrate on what he said are two key factors that saved the President: incompetence when it came to conspiracy with Russia and disobedience when it came to obstruction of justice.

"When it comes to conspiracy, Trump's saving grace may have been that despite Russians wanting to help, everyone around him was too inept to work with them," Oliver said.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's partially-redacted report into Russian interference in the 2016 election was released to the American public on Thursday.

As for the question of Trump committing obstruction of justice, Oliver said that the President's saving grace may have been that his staff refused to follow his orders.

"The news that the President ordered subordinates to do things that might constitute obstruction and then they just ignored him is both reassuring and also terrifying," Oliver said.

Oliver also slammed Attorney General William Barr's press conference and pre-release summary about the report.

"It's like Barr summarized the 'Twilight' novels as 'a girl in Florida goes to third base with a wookie.' No! No! That's not what happens," Oliver joked. "I'm not even sure we're reading the same underlying material."

The host concluded that the report's findings are "very depressing" and there's a lot the public still doesn't know due to redactions and other investigations. However, he did say that the report shedding light on Russia's interference was ultimately a good thing.

"The point is, having the knowledge that the Mueller report provides is infinitely better than the alternative," Oliver said. "'Cause that knowledge can inform Congress going forward and — crucially — voters a year and a half from now."

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