John Oliver and Stephen Colbert on Trump Jr. Scandal: "Are They Just Too Dumb to Realize What's Happening?"
"Have we come to a nation where colluding with a hostile foreign power to manipulate our election is a left, right thing?" said Colbert.
John Oliver seemed gleeful during his visit with Stephen Colbert on Wednesday, speaking about the Donald Trump Jr. controversy as well as trying hard not to speak about the coal lawsuit against him.
Colbert started off by saying he imagined Oliver took a break from airing his show this time over the summer because it's usually a "safe" time to take off, when news is normally slow. "You'd have to have an offspring who is so stupid," said Oliver, laughing, and referring to Donald Trump Jr.
He said that his framing of the scandal as "Stupid Watergate" was supposed to be a self-contained joke but current events are making it more relevant. Colbert asked Oliver for his first reaction to Trump Jr.'s emails. Oliver responded that he thought, "Well this is something, as long as we live in a world where something means anything, and I'm not sure we do anymore." He added that we may now live in a world devoid of consequences.
The Late Show host agreed, saying he was speaking to his executive producer about being used to a world that is divided on polarizing issues. "Have we come to a nation where colluding with a hostile foreign power to manipulate our election is a left, right thing?"
"The very fact that you just said that sentence aloud shows that we are turbo-fucked," said Oliver.
The hosts debated whether the Trumps understand collusion, and Oliver pointed out that he's amazed that people are now forced to question, "Is it possible there's not a logical sequence of thoughts in their mind that have made them understand the gravity of the situation they're in? The fact that we're wondering that ..."
"Are they just too dumb to realize what's happening? And the answer is not definitely no," Oliver continued. Colbert agreed, saying it's "chilling."
The hosts also compared stories of being terrified while filming their shows in Russia. They spoke about being followed by Russian authorities. Oliver remembers someone drilling into his ceiling at night, joking that they were doing it to frighten him and it worked. His producer also found someone in his hotel room pretending to be opening a window. Colbert recently returned and his Russian footage will air next week, while Oliver went a few years ago to interview Edward Snowden.
After the commercial break, Colbert turned to the subject of Oliver being sued by an energy company and Oliver squirmed in his chair, smiling. "You're torturing me," Oliver said. "I literally promised my executive producer before I came here 'I won't talk about it' and now we're here."
"There are many things that I want to say, I'm bursting, look into my eyes," Oliver said. Colbert offered to say some things while Oliver sat next to him.
Colbert read a series of statements about the lawsuit, jokingly asking if he's going to get Oliver sued again or if Colbert himself was going to get sued for asking Oliver questions.
"I'm in hell right now," Oliver said, laughing and adding that he has a sequence of jokes in his head as responses to Colbert's questions, but he has another voice saying "You're dead, if it happens."
When Colbert talked about a lawsuit he was faced with at The Daily Show, Oliver asked if he settled. "We won," Colbert said. "I'm going to do that as well. Oh, god, that was too much," Oliver said.
During his visit, Oliver was treated to the honor of being added to Colbert's "Trump Attacked Me on Twitter Hall of Fame." The Trump tweet was about refusing to go on Oliver's "very boring" show. Oliver said that while he doesn't deny his show is "very boring," nobody ever invited Trump to be on the show, a lie he called so meaningless it becomes meaningful.
"What kind of moron would lie about something this pathetic?" he asked.