John Oliver Unpacks Latest Trump-Ukraine Scandal: ‘Dumber Than You Can Even Imagine’

The impeachment inquiry has led to a little something the late night talk host likes to call "Stupid Watergate II." Everyone loves a sequel!
"Last Week Tonight With John Oliver"
"Last Week Tonight With John Oliver"

In March 2017, deep in the throes of one of many, many, many scandals that have plagued the Trump presidential administration, “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver” host John Oliver attempted to explain the problem du jour: an allegation that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions had lied under oath about his meetings with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, while he was an advisor to Trump’s campaign. In unpacking the wild story, Oliver hit upon an amusing (and apt) descriptor, terming the entire affair “Stupid Watergate.”

As is standard for most big hits these days, “Stupid Watergate” now has its very own sequel, and Oliver spent last night’s show trying his hardest to unpack that mess as well. Deadline reports that Oliver used a portion of his Sunday night HBO show talking about the events surrounding the current impeachment inquiry, which (again) involve some (allegedly) “stupid” acts.

The latest scandal, as reported by a still-unknown whistleblower, alleges that President Donald Trump withheld hundreds of millions of dollars military aid to Ukraine as a bargaining chip to get the country to dig into the alleged misdeed of Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. “It is very, very dumb,” Oliver said, terming the scandal “Stupid Watergate II: The Stupidest Watergate.”

“It’s impressive just how thorough the abuse of power is looping in someone who is so involved in government that they shouldn’t be involved in petty dirt and someone involved in petty dirt that they shouldn’t be nowhere near the government,” said Oliver, referring to a portion of the call in which Trump invokes both Attorney General Bill and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani as people that Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky could speak to about the “investigation.”

Oliver goes on to explain that the plot of “Stupid Watergate II” gets “dumber than you can even imagine” as the host digs into such strange subplots as Zelensky’s pre-government career as a comedian and the involvement of a constantly ranting Giuliani, who is reportedly working for the president for free.

He also pointed out that this particular scandal has appeared to hit a nerve with many people (in ways that the original “Stupid Watergate” was never quite able to reach). “People seem legitimately furious over this,” he said. “The House has opened an impeachment inquiry and even republicans are treading with caution for a change. It kind of makes you wonder ‘why now?’ the President has done so many terrible things, why does this one count? It’s hard to say — maybe because this one is simpler in key ways.”

The clip of the segment is not currently online, but you can check out the show’s biggest feature story below, which dives into the far-reaching implications of compounding pharmacies.

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.