John Oliver addressed the “biggest news this week” on Sunday’s episode of Late Week Tonight, speaking about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanugh and the sexual assault allegations made against him by Christine Blasey Ford.
“The details of these terrible allegations are really important and they cast a chilling light on past comments that he has made about his high school,” said Oliver before sharing a clip of Kavanaugh speaking about his alma mater. “What happens at Georgetown Prep stays at Georgetown Prep. That’s been a good thing for all of us,” said the Supreme Court nominee.
“For the record, the motto, ‘What happens here, stays here’ makes anything sound awful and creepy by default,” responded Oliver. “If you saw that slogan at your dentist’s office, there’s no fucking way you would let him give you anesthesia.”
The host then shared that Kavanugh has publicly denied the allegations and released a letter in support of him that was signed by 65 women that knew him during high school. “There’s no person on earth who hasn’t not assaulted 65 women,” Oliver said in response to the letter. “Even people who have assaulted 65 women have also not assaulted at least as many.”
Oliver later summarized a particularly “disturbing argument” in response to the claims: “The suggestion that even if he is lying, this happened too long ago to be relevant,” said Oliver.
Oliver then aired an interview in which three Republican women downplayed Kavanaugh’s alleged actions.
“What the fuck are you talking about? That is a terrible thing for any high school girl to hear and perhaps an even worse thing for a high school boy to hear because she’s acting like assault is a natural consequence of puberty,” said Oliver. “‘Oh, don’t worry if your voice cracks, you grow hair in weird places and you start sexually attacking people. It’s all perfectly normal.'”
A number of Kavanaugh allies have created alternative theories about the alleged assault, including conservative lawyer Ed Whelan. In a 26-tweet thread, Whelan claimed that Ford’s attacker was another classmate and used a floor plan from Zillow to make his case. “He baselessly accused a private citizen of a sex crime, which is a terrible thing to do, and using Zillow is just a bizarre way to do it,” said Oliver. “It would be like sending a death threat using Etsy.”
Oliver also noted Trump’s take on the allegations. He tweeted a message questioning why “[Ford] or her loving parents” didn’t immediately report the crime. “So the president cast out on someone who says she was sexually assaulted while also sort of implying that her parents don’t love her,” said Oliver. “To borrow a phrase, that’s one of the most shithead things I’ve seen from the standpoint of shitheaded-ness.”
“To be very clear, there are many reasons why victims don’t file charges with the police, including fear, humiliation and suspicion that no one will believe them,” said Oliver. “This is a conversation that we’ve been having for decades.”
“It’s not even like this is the first time that an accuser has been attacked during a Supreme Court confirmation,” said Oliver. “Famously in the ’90s, Anita Hill had her character assassinated during the Clarence Thomas hearings.”
Oliver shared a previously unaired portion of an earlier interview he did with Hill, which he said resonates strongly in light of the claims against Kavanaugh. After the host asked if she thinks the tone of her hearing would be different today, she responded. “I’m not even sure we would have a hearing today. I think that a nominee would not make it. I think that now we’re gonna be vetting people to see if some of these issues are in their past, so I’m not sure we would even get to a hearing.”
“If there were a hearing and we did get to that, I think absolutely, the tone would be different,” Hill concluded.
Watch the segment below.