Comedian John Oliver, who hosts the HBO program “Last Week Tonight,” opened Sunday night’s show by asking if anyone could recall what a “normal week” felt like. He was referring to President Donald Trump’s dismissal of James Comey, the FBI director and head of the investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.
The president took an unusual route by firing Comey through a letter, although the former director claims he learned about the situation from a television news report. In the letter, Trump claimed he was dismissing Comey based on advice from Rod Rosenstein, who had been the Deputy Attorney General for only 14 days.
Trump wrote that while he was appreciative of Comey telling him three times that he was not under investigation, he agreed with the Department of Justice that Comey was not effective at leading the FBI. Oliver said the “bizarre” statement was the equivalent of a man breaking up with a woman via text message.
Trump’s administration has also said it chose to fire Comey over the way he handled the Hillary Clinton email scandal despite praising him during the campaign. Those closest to Trump said the FBI lost confidence in Comey, a claim that has been disputed by many, including current acting director Andrew McCabe.
During an interview with NBC News last Thursday, Trump told Lester Holt that the decision to fire Comey was his alone, and he did it because the “ties to Russia” issue was a “made-up story.” Other reports indicated that Comey wanted more information regarding Trump and Russia in order to accelerate the investigation, and this factor is what led to his dismissal.
In addition, Trump said he had decided to fire Comey as early as January 2, three weeks before the inauguration. This occurred during a dinner where the former director also allegedly told Trump that he was not under investigation. Comey later told the media that Trump had asked for his loyalty during that dinner, and Comey responded by saying he would give him honesty.
Oliver said Trump’s response to the investigation made him look “stupid” and assumes that the country is stupid, too, which might actually be true. He also said it was clear that Trump fired Comey due to the Russia investigation, and the tweet that Trump posted on May 12, which contained a thinly veiled threat regarding possible secret recordings, supports this. He added there was nothing further than Trump could do to shock or surprise him.
Oliver concluded by saying Trump’s unstable behavior is “exhausting” and called on Republicans to appoint a special prosecutor to continue the investigation. He also mentioned the system of checks and balances and asked Congress to stop making excuses and giving “non-answers” regarding Trump’s possible ties with Russia.