John Oliver rips Donald Trump’s tapes confession on Last Week Tonight


John Oliver accuses Donald Trump of witness tampering after he confessed to lying about having tapes of James Comey in order to sway his testimony.

John Oliver devoted much of Sunday’s Last Week Tonight to the subject of vaccines, which have been a topic of conversation in recent years thanks to people like the current president suggesting they may cause issues like autism without having any verifiable proof.

But earlier in the episode, Oliver also took Donald Trump to task over his confession last week that he does not actually possess any tapes of conversations between himself and former FBI director James Comey, despite his previous threats on Twitter.

Oliver began by referencing said tweet from May where the president wrote that, “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

However, on Thursday, Trump admitted that no such tapes exist, providing a word salad of an explanation to Fox & Friends where he invoked Obama, surveillance and unmasking, which he described as “a word you probably never heard before” (Similar to his claims to The Economist that he invented the phrase “prime the pump”). Check it out:

“Whenever Trump talks, it’s like a cross between a lottery machine that spits out words and a Speak & Spell that just fell into a toilet,” Oliver joked. Worse yet, according to the British comedian, was Trump’s explanation of his motivation behind the tweet that sought to influence Comey’s Senate testimony.

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“When he found out that maybe there were tapes out there, whether governmental tapes or who knows…I think his story may have changed,” Trump said. “You’ll have to take a look at that because he has to tell what actually took place at the events. My story didn’t change. My story was always a straight story. My story was always the truth. But you’ll have to determine for yourself whether or not his story changed.”

Oliver requested that viewers pay special attention to the compliment paid to Trump by the Fox News host at the end of the clip where she suggested that the strategy was “a smart way to make sure he stayed honest at those hearings.” Trump replied, “Well, it wasn’t very stupid, I can tell you that.”

From there, Oliver took Trump to task not only for trying to deceive the American people and also for attempting to influence Comey’s testimony.

"He didn’t just casually admit to misleading the American public,” he explained. “He also implied that doing so may have swayed Comey testimony which, if that was his intent, could constitute witness tampering, and on top of all that, he implied he made Comey tell the truth about their conversations, seemingly verifying Comey’s account, which is incredibly damaging to the president."

Oliver went on to cover the latest regarding the Republican-controlled Senate’s Obamacare replacement bill, which has been dubbed the “Better Care Reconciliation Act,” or BCRA. The host railed against the bill’s deep cuts to Medicaid and urged the media to stop pretending like it doesn’t have a good chance of passing despite several outspoken GOP critics like Ted Cruz, who thinks it isn’t harsh enough.

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“The point is, there is every chance that absent a huge effort to stop it, this bill may very well pass, so resisting complacency would be to borrow a truly moronic phrase, ‘Not very stupid, I can tell you that,'” he concluded.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver airs Sundays at 11 p.m. ET on HBO.