Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014–…): Season 6, Episode 9 - Mueller Report/Chiitan - full transcript

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LAST WEEK TONIGHT
WITH JOHN OLIVER

SEASON VI
EPISODE 9

Welcome to Last Week Tonight.

I'm John Oliver.
Thank you for joining us.

We begin with
the major news of the week,

the release
of one man's painstaking work

and the impact
it may have on history.

It's Queen Elizabeth's
93rd birthday today

and that guy nailed it.

There was one other
major story this week,

concerning the latest installment
in the "Stupid Watergate".



Watergate, if Nixon had been
kicked in the head by a billy goat

and if that billy goat had been
the White House chief of staff.

On Thursday, the Mueller report
was finally released.

It was over 400 pages long
and many in the media chose

to make a feature
of processing it in plain sight.

MSNBC had Ari Melber reading it
in the corner of the studio,

as if relegated to the kid's table,
while New York 1 aired

30 seconds of their printer getting
ready to print the report out.

Once the report had been read it
became clear there was a lot in it.

Mueller confirmed that Russia
interfered in our election,

but did not conclude that the Trump
team engaged in a criminal conspiracy.

Several actions by the president
were investigated

as potentially
obstruction of justice.

Mueller's team says: "If we had
confidence that the President"



"did not commit obstruction of justice,
we would so state."

Last one is a conspicuous
non-exoneration.

If you were interviewing a job
applicant and they told you:

"I wasn't found guilty
of fucking my neighbors' mailboxes,"

"but I also
wasn't found innocent."

You would not necessarily
rule them out,

but you'd think twice
about hiring them.

Some of the details
in this report were incredible.

When Trump learned that
Robert Mueller was appointed,

he slumped back in his chair
and said:

"This is terrible. This is the end
of my presidency. I'm f'...d.'"

Fucked.
He said: "I'm fucked."

While we don't know whether
Trump will face repercussions,

I'd like to live a little longer
in the moment of him saying:

"This is the end of my
presidency, I'm fucked."

I'll take artistic license
to fully paint that scene for you:

Trump, upon learning Mueller
was appointed, slumping in his chair,

Ivanka playing fetch with Don Jr.,
Eric's tongue is stuck to a flagpole,

Priebus is walking around with
his head inside a honey pot,

Jared is standing
in front of a blank wall,

Bannon is stress-eating
a bowl of used syringes

and Stephen Miller
is pulling the legs off a spider,

while Trump says those words,
as tears roll down:

"This is the end of my presidency.
I'm fucked."

At that moment, a pigeon flies
in and shits in his mouth.

It is a masterpiece.

I'm not saying
that's what happened,

we don't definitively know
that it didn't.

We can't cover everything
in the report tonight.

I'd like to concentrate
on two key factors

that may've saved the president:

incompetence when it comes
to conspiracy with Russia

and disobedience when it
comes to obstruction of justice.

Let's start with incompetence.
Meaning, with Michael Cohen.

The report spells out that Cohen
was in contact with Russians,

mostly concerning Trump's efforts
to build a tower in Moscow.

Which, in and of itself
is wildly inappropriate.

It is compromising for a candidate

to be asking business favors
of a hostile foreign government.

But from the very beginning,
Cohen was laughably inept.

He reached out to Putin's press
spokesman, Dmitry Peskov,

but couldn't get through.

That's because he meant to e-mail
"PR-peskova-at-prpress-dot-gov."

But actually e-mailed "dot-gof"
instead. And "dot-gof",

sends you right to the server for the
new HBO series "Game of Flounder",

where powerful flounder families
fight for control of the 7 sandbars.

It starts in June.
This network is fucked.

Another case of Cohen bungling
contact with Russians involved

Dmitry Klokov, a former press
secretary to Russia's energy minister.

Klokov's ex-wife contacted Ivanka,
offering assistance to the campaign.

That is someone with ties
to the Russian government,

offering help to elect Trump.

Ivanka forwarded that e-mail to Cohen,
who Googled "Dmitry Klokov"

and concluded they must be talking
about a former Olympic weightlifter,

a man who has
videos online like this.

Cohen saw that and thought:
"I got the right Dmitry Klokov."

Apparently, Russia's energy minister's
press secretary is jacked!

And good for you, bra,
hustle for that muscle.

Sore today, strong tomorrow.
Get swole, feed the soul.

From one beef tower
to another: respect.

The real Klokov kept trying to set
up a meeting between Trump and Putin,

but Cohen blew that proposal off,
which may not be surprising,

given that Cohen still appeared to
believe that the Klokov he spoke with

was the Olympic weightlifter.

Of course he was confused,
he was trying to figure out

why deceased German ice hockey
goalie Robert Mueller

wanted to speak with him.

It wasn't just Cohen.
The report found multiple instances

where people tied to the Russian
government offered Trump assistance

and, in some instances,
the Campaign was receptive.

But the thing that seemed
to stop closer coordination

was cartoonish levels of
disorganization and incompetence.

There were times when the Trump
team's ignorance of basic concepts

seems to have helped shield them
from criminal liability,

most notably when it came to
the infamous Trump Tower meeting,

featuring Don Jr., Jared, Paul Manafort
and a Russian offering more dirt.

Mueller's team concluded it would
unlikely be able to prove beyond doubt

that the participants had knowledge
their conduct was unlawful.

That kind of makes sense!
It is gonna be hard to prove

that this guy had knowledge that his
conduct could be breaking the law

or that he had knowledge
of anything at all,

other than what it feels like
to watch flags get more hugs

from your dad than you'd get
if you lived to be a thousand.

When it comes to conspiracy,

despite Russians wanting to help,

everyone around him was too
inept to work with them.

So, as for the other major question,
obstruction of justice,

Trump's saving grace
may've been that,

despite ample evidence
that he tried to do it,

everyone around him
was too disobedient to listen.

The report paints a remarkable
portrait of the president as a man

obsessed with
the Russia investigation,

trying to seize control of the inquiry
through his White House aides.

It highlights at least ten current
and former officials or associates

who did not carry out his orders.

The news that the president ordered
subordinates to do things

that might constitute obstruction
and then they just ignored him,

is both reassuring
and also terrifying.

That's like your spouse saying:

"Don't worry about the snake,
the baby killed it."

I'm glad the snake is dead,

but that means there was
a fucking snake in there.

And it also means our baby
has snake killing strength.

There's a lot to process here.
I'm happy, I'm relieved,

but I'm also angry
and confused.

Multiple instances of people
ignoring president's instructions.

When Trump asked Corey Lewandowski
to send his attorney general a message.

The president gave him orders
to tell the attorney general, Sessions,

to curtail the scope
of the Russia investigation.

Lewandowski
never followed through on it,

pass it to another aide who did also
not follow through on that.

That's a chain of two people
failing to follow through

on a demand
from the president.

That aide then passed
Trump's order off to an assistant,

who opened the window and
shouted it to a groundskeeper,

who wrote it down and taped it
to a Roomba that was passing by,

which drove itself
into the river,

because this isn't why
it got into government.

The most shocking example
of the president being ignored

involved former White House
Counsel Don McGahn.

Trump called and directed him to have
Mueller removed as special counsel.

McGahn refused, but Trump kept
pushing, until this happened.

Instead of carrying out Trump's
request, McGahn decided he would quit.

He called his lawyer, drove to
the White House, packed up his office,

prepared to submit a resignation
letter with his chief of staff,

told Reince Priebus that the president
has asked him to 'do crazy blank.'

Informed Priebus
and Bannon that he was leaving.

Holy fucking blank.

Preparing to quit because you're being
asked to do "crazy shit"

isn't what you expect
from the White House Counsel,

it's what you expect from
Nicolas Cage's personal assistant.

No, Nicolas, I'm not constructing
a ten-foot voodoo doll of you

out of rare gemstones
and dead crows.

I have a master's degree.
This is crazy shit, Nicolas.

You might take some reassurance
from the fact

that so many of the people in
Trump's orbit did not do as he asked.

But the worrying thing is, lots
of those people are gone now

and the newer figures seem
on the same page as the president.

Look at how the report was released.
Not only did William Barr,

downplay its contents in his
letter summarizing it to Congress,

but he gave a preemptive press
conference to spin report's contents,

repeating Trump's favorite phrase
"no collusion" and making excuses.

As the special counsel's
report acknowledges,

there is substantial evidence
to show that the president

was frustrated and
angered by his sincere belief

that the investigation
was undermining his presidency,

propelled by his political opponents
and fueled by illegal leaks.

Donald Trump has never once been
motivated by a "sincere belief".

He's motivated by two things only, one:
the icy howling winds

swirling in the yawning chasm of pitch
blackness where his soul should be.

And the hopeless pursuit of
the only woman he truly loves.

When you look at his presidency
this way, it's actually quite romantic.

If I may quote the advice
Alec Baldwin's attorney gives:

"Being angry is not the same
thing as being innocent."

That wasn't the only thing
that Barr said that,

in the wake of reading the report,
seems laughably and misleading.

The White House fully cooperated
with the counsel's investigation.

The president took no act that
in fact deprived the special counsel

of documents and witnesses necessary
to complete his investigation.

A gross mischaracterization
of what the report actually said.

"Full cooperation" would've involved
sitting down for an interview,

which Trump did not do.

Mueller not only found Trump's
written answers "inadequate",

he engaged in efforts to curtail
the Special Counsel's investigation

and prevent the disclosure
of evidence to it,

including through public and private
contacts with potential witnesses.

Which is the exact opposite
of what Barr said.

It's like Barr summarized
Twilight as:

"A girl in Florida goes
to third base with a Wookiee."

No, that's not what happens.

I'm not sure we're reading
the same underlying material.

I've read the real book, a dog-man
falls in love with a baby.

Respect the text.
Honor the written word.

All of this is clearly very depressing.
There's still so much we don't know.

There are significant
redactions within the report,

references to 14 investigations
Mueller handed to other prosecutors,

twelve of which remain secret.

And that can make this
feel a little anticlimactic,

ever since Barr's
summary came out,

Trump administration's been
taking an un-earned victory lap.

The idea that any of us,
and me as a campaign manager,

would cheat, steal, lie, cut corners,
talk to Russians, was an insult.

But was it, though?
An insult would be to say that

Conway died many years ago
and is a skin suit occupied

by 300 rats
who have evolved the ability to lie.

That's what an insult is.
A fact, however...

The Mueller report explicitly shows
Trump and his associates doing

many of the things
she just listed.

The report vindicates administration
on their own false premises.

We pointed out that Trump
and his team were trying

to center the narrative
on "collusion",

despite the fact that the term
has no specific legal meaning.

By reframing
the investigation that way,

Trump ensured that anything
short of Mueller publishing

400 pages of text messages between
him and Putin gaming out election fraud

meant the whole thing
was a complete waste of time.

Mueller's report did not find collusion
and wasn't trying to

because that word
doesn't even apply here.

And it didn't establish that Trump's
team was part of a criminal conspiracy

to interfere with the election.

But it found
a lot of other stuff.

Consider what we learned,
or had confirmed, this week:

Russia interfered in our election
and made efforts to help Trump win.

While his campaign did not
provably cooperate with Russia,

they seemed eager
to accept their help.

Trump may have obstructed justice
and if he didn't,

it might only be because people who
work for him ignored his orders.

The attorney general, the nation's
top law-enforcement official,

has proven himself
to be a dishonest hack.

I'm not saying that
any of that is good news.

But it is definitely good
that we know about it.

Having the knowledge
that the Mueller report provides

is infinitely better
than the alternative.

'Cause that knowledge can
inform Congress going forward

and voters
a year and a half from now.

The alternative is for America
to end up like Michael Cohen:

confused, easily manipulated
and never fully understanding

how a guy with a fulltime job
as a press secretary

can also be such a max-jacked
certifiable meat king.

And now this.

And Now, In Honor of Easter:
Fuck You, Peeps.

If you love the Easter marshmallow
treat Peeps, you'll love this story.

I hate 'em.

Everybody hates Peeps!

- Do you like regular Peeps?
- No. I would rather eat dirt.

Fuck yeah! Dirt rules!
Peeps suck!

Peeps are like the candy corn
around Halloween.

You either love 'em or you don't,
like some people.

We'll tell you about where you can
put or shove those Peeps.

Hear that, America?
You can take your Peep

and shove it all the way
up your actual asshole!

I posted this to Facebook last week.
Marshmallow Peeps coffee creamer.

No!

- Where do you think Peeps is?
- It's not on the list, it's gross.

- Not a fan of marshmallows?
- Not a fan of Peeps.

The news lady is correct!
Peeps are gross!

We continue talking about it
like they're really popular

but
everybody I talk to is not a fan.

That's right, Peep fans!
You don't exist!

Moving on. With all
the talk of the Mueller report,

we thought it might be nice to end
on the exact opposite of that.

To do that, we turn to Japan:
the country that gave us Pok?mon,

and... my God,
it's a Jigglypuff!

I've never seen one of these
in the wild before!

Take out a Pok? Ball
and slowly and carefully throw it.

You ready? And...

Throw! Throw it!

God! You threw it too hard!
You killed Jigglypuff!

Jigglypuff is dead now.
Why did you throw it so hard?

Where was I?
That's right: Japan.

There is something amazing
happening over there now.

Japan is home
to thousands of mascots,

from museums to prisons
to entire towns and cities.

We loved that idea so much
that we made our own mascots

for various U.S. government
agencies.

We are not the only ones who've
decided to make some mascots.

A rogue mascot is causing
controversy in one Japanese city.

Meet Chiitan, the unsanctioned otter
mascot that is gaining popularity

on social media thanks
to its edgy personality.

Video of Chiitan swinging a weed
eater and you can see him there,

dancing on a pole...

Your eyes are not deceiving you:
that is video of a Japanese mascot

on a stripper pole, presumably
at a strip club called

"There Are Way More People Who Are
Into This Thing Than You Think."

It is my honor tonight
to introduce you to Chiitan.

You are gonna be glad that I did.
I know that he may look

like half a Vienna Finger that took
too much ecstasy in the '90s,

but Chiitan is a "0-year-old fairy baby
who plays around actively every day!"

Chiitan is a giant otter wearing
a turtle as a hat,

which is, incidentally, already
my favorite sentence of all time,

right next to "Welcome to
the John Oliver Koala Chlamydia Ward."

The story of what's going on with
Chiitan is a little complicated,

but in a nutshell: there's
a city in Japan called Susaki.

Susaki's official mascot
is Shinjo-kun,

a magnificent giant otter
wearing a ramen dish for a hat.

Excellent.

Until recently, the city also had
a honorary "tourism ambassador",

an actual otter named Chiitan.

Chiitan the actual otter has a mascot
otter and that is what Chiitan is.

There are three otters,
two of which are named "Chiitan"

and the mascot Chiitan was never
affiliated with the city of Susaki.

It's that simple.

The unofficial mascot Chiitan has been
producing some bizarre videos,

also this one where Chiitan
flips a car with its bare paws.

Susaki reportedly received
over 100 calls from around Japan

complaining about Chiitan,
and earlier this year,

the city attempted to distance
themselves from it

by declining to renew the real
Chiitan as its tourism ambassador.

City cut ties with the otter because
of the things the fake otter did.

Which is a real shame.
Chiitan has been a lot of fun,

its Twitter account
is full of crazy shit like this.

You might be wanting to ask:
"How does an umbrellawielding,"

"coked-up otter being assaulted
in a windowless room"

"encourage tourism to the small
Japanese port city of Susaki?"

I'm on TV and I'm talking about
the small Japanese port city of Susaki.

That should answer
your stupid fucking question.

Every Chiitan video
is a work of art.

Take this one, for example,
titled "With My Friends."

It's understandable to have
questions after watching that, like:

"What am I watching?
Who's that karate cat?"

and "Why is Chiitan
angry with that inflatable pole?"

"Am I bored?" is not one of
the questions you're asking there.

Violence is a theme with Chiitan.

Here is another video that starts
charming and then has a bit of a turn.

It is a testament to the utter
brilliance of that video

that I've watched it
dozens of times

and not once have I thought to
whether or not that person was okay.

It doesn't matter 'cause even if
they weren't, it was worth it.

As good as these videos are,
Chiitan is even better at Twitter,

with a virtuosic
deployment of memes.

"Hello birb"...
Hello Pulitzer Prize for Poetry!

Another magnificent example.
"Don't ever talk to my son"

"or my son's son or my son's
son's son's son ever again".

Try saying that without laughing.
It's physiologically impossible.

Asking me to pick a favorite
Chiitan tweet is like asking me

to pick a favorite son.

Or son's son.
It'd be difficult

but I'd probably have to say
this one, in which Chiitan,

standing next to a small kangaroo
asks: "Is this a pigeon?"

Clearly the question is rhetorical.
Chiitan is good at recognizing birbs.

When's the last time
Twitter made you happy?

When's the last time
anything made you happy?

I admit that Chiitan's
occasionally gone a bit too far,

like with this video titled
"Chiitan Is Going to Visit Your House."

Even the most generous interpretation
of that is that Chiitan

is gonna come to your house and
beat you to death with a baseball bat.

I do get why a city might
not want that message delivered

by an unofficial mascot.

But I am sorry
for Susaki that he's gone.

I'd also like you to spare a thought
for their official mascot, Shinjo-kun,

who is also, as we've established:
excellent.

Not as splashy as Chiitan,
but still wears a noodle-bowl for a hat

and that's not nothing, is it?

Shinjo-kun was overshadowed
by an psychotic otter.

While there's an element
of relief there for Shinjo-kun,

there's gonna be a massive,
Chiitan-shaped hole in its life.

The two mascots were together
a lot, and I have to say,

whever you see Shinjo-kun alone,
the obvious sadness there

is absolutely heartbreaking.

It's clear that Shinjo-kun
needs a new friend,

one that won't disappear or threaten
the citizens with a baseball bat.

Luckily, anyone can make an unofficial
mascot for a city in Japan.

If you don't already know
where this is heading,

you've clearly never watched
this fucking show before.

Of course we made our own mascot.
Please meet Chiijohn.

Chiijohn is a 41-year-old
nearsighted English fairy baby.

When there's a new mascot
on this show, I get up

and walk over there to introduce
you to him in person.

I can't actually introduce you
to Chiijohn in person tonight.

The reason I can't do that
is 'cause he's already in Japan.

It's true! Here he is having
the time of his life in Tokyo!

I know what you're thinking:
"I get it, John. You just created"

"a mascot to go to Japan
and fuck with people."

But no. You don't get it.
You don't get it at all.

We made Chiijohn with
the sole intention that he locate

and comfort Shinjo-kun, and fill
the hole Chiitan left in his heart.

And for a sense of whether
he was able to do that,

you should take a look at this.

The Journey of Chiijohn

After a long flight,
Chiijohn arrived in Tokyo.

He'd never seen
anything like it,

because he just
got glasses the day before.

Tomorrow he'd visit Susaki,
but tonight belonged to Tokyo.

Violently hungover, Chiijohn
got up the next morning.

And as he looked through
the clouds towards Susaki,

he remembered the reason
he was here: Shinjo-kun.

He was 100 percent sure they were
meant to be together

and 40 percent sure
he was looking at Susaki.

All the way to the train station,
Chiijohn's heart pounded.

Each step was a step
closer to his destiny.

After a while, he got tired
of steps and took a rickshaw.

Each step of his rickshaw driver
was a step closer to his destiny.

At last, Susaki.
Shinjo-kun was everywhere,

on the stairs, on the sidewalk,
on the walls and in the streets.

On his way, Chiijohn introduced
himself to all the local fish.

This is the path that falls
at Shinjo-kun's feet.

This is the breeze
that cools Shinjo-kun's face.

This is the sun that warms
the noodles that Shinjo-kun wears.

And knowing this
filled Chiijohn with joy.

The final steps to his
destiny were uphill.

Aren't they always?

Finally, Chiijohn saw Shinjo-kun,
his new best friend.

Shinjo-kun didn't know
if he was ready for a new best friend.

He had had a best friend, Chiitan.
And it had been a living nightmare.

But Chiijohn seemed different,

less upper body strength,
for one thing.

At the local arcade, they used sticks
to whack moles, not each other.

Though they share
an appetite for destruction,

destroying something together
is an act of creation.

Shinjo-kun made Chiijohn happy.
And Chiijohn wanted Shinjo-kun

to have a Shinju-kun so Shinjo-kun
could be happy, too.

But Chiijohn couldn't get Shinjo-kun
a Shinjo-kun and this made them sad.

Sadness was another
thing they shared.

Chiijohn tried to cheer
Shinjo-kun up.

He put on Shinjo-kun's
thinking cap.

Suddenly, he knew just
what to do:

introduce themselves
to some local fish.

Shinjo-kun taught Chiijohn how to
take one stick and make two sticks.

It was the best day of their lives.

Without the sadness
of the claw machine,

Shinjo-kun never would have
felt this joy.

If his old best friend hadn't left,

his new best friend never
would have come.

"That's too much soy sauce",
Shinjo-kun said.

"No," replied Chiijohn, "it's not
enough fish."

Shinjo-kun had found
his new best friend.

A little chaos fulfills the spirit

and prepares us
for all the claw machines ahead.

They saw their path and felt
their breeze and saw their sun.

"Where is our sun going?",
Chiijohn asked.

"Do not worry",
said Shinjo-kun,

"We'll have
our sun back tomorrow."

"And our sun's son.
And our sun's son's son."

"And our sun's son's son's son."

None of us thought this was
where our show was going tonight

and yet here we are now.

Chiijohn is still in Japan.

The City of Susaki have now
officially taken ownership of him.

If you ever want to see Chiijohn,
you'll simply have to go there.

That is our show. Thank you.
We're off next week. Good night!

LAST WEEK TONIGHT
WITH JOHN OLIVER

END OF EPISODE 9,
SEASON VI