John Oliver tore into President Donald Trump and Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight for spreading a disavowed report from Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano about the Barack Obama administration using the British government to spy on Trump while he was a candidate.
“He didn’t use the NSA, he didn’t use the CIA, he didn’t use the FBI, he didn’t use the Department of Justice. He used the GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters),” Spicer said during a press briefing last week of Obama’s actions.
“Wow. Now that is going to piss off the British, and you do not want to piss off the British, because if you do, we will say, ‘Oh dear,’ shake our heads, swallow the anger, and carry it around until we die,” Oliver said Sunday. “Because think about what he’s actually alleging there: he is suggesting a U.S. president enlisted a foreign intelligence service to spy on a political adversary. That is an explosive charge. Perhaps that is why the NSA’s deputy director told the BBC it was ‘arrant nonsense’ revealing ‘a complete lack of understanding in how the relationship works.’ And for their part, GCHQ called the accusations ‘utterly ridiculous.’ And yet, rather than distancing himself from Spicer, Trump decided to back him up.”
Oliver then played a clip of Trump telling journalists last week Spicer merely repeated what Judge Napolitano said. “All we did was quote a certain, very talented legal mind, who was the one responsible for saying that on television. That was a statement made by a very talented lawyer on Fox. So you shouldn’t be talking to me, you should be talking to Fox.”
“No, we should be talking to you about it because you’re the f—ing president, and you’re repeating it,” Oliver said in response to the audio. “‘He said it because he heard it on television’ is barely an acceptable excuse for why your parrot said a racial slur. ‘No, no, no, no, we’ve been watching The Wire! We’ve been watching The Wire.'”
Not even Fox News stood by the claims made by Napolitano, who appeared on Alex Jones’ Info Wars show in 2010 to spread a Sept. 11 terror attack conspiracy theory about the World Trade Center (“It’s hard for me to believe that it came down by itself”).
“We love the judge, we love him here at Fox, but the Fox News division was never able to back up those claims and was never reported on this show,” Fox News anchor Bret Bair said last week. But despite reports that Spicer had apologized to the British government for the claims, the press secretary denied any mea culpa was issued. “I don’t think we regret anything,” he said. “No, we were just passing on news reports.”
“That is Sean Spicer saying he has no regrets, which is amazing, because if anyone on this planet should have f—ing regrets, it is you, Madam Ghostbuster,” Oliver said. “You should regret everything Every life decision that brought you into this regretful job that you regretfully hold. At this point, you should really be more regret than man. A Regretitor, if you will: half-man, half-regretful beast, cursed to roam the planet until one day you’re finally released from your prison by the inevitable firing you’ll receive in, oh let’s say, two-and-a-half weeks, shall we?”
As for Trump himself, Oliver ceded the final portion of his monologue to CNN host Fareed Zakaria, who said last week that Trump “had spent his whole life bullsh–ing. He has succeeded by bullsh–ing. He has gotten the presidency by bullsh–ing. It’s very hard to tell somebody at that point that bullsh– doesn’t work, because look at the results, right?”
“Donald Trump is a bullsh– artist,” said Oliver on Sunday. “And I know Trump might want to refute that, but, to be fair, someone on TV did say it, and I am repeating it so therefore it must be true.”
The full episode of Last Week Tonight is streaming on HBO Go.