John Oliver began his latest episode of Last Week Tonight with an update on the investigation into President Donald Trump's ties to Russia - "a scandal," Oliver said, "that we've been referring to as 'Stupid Watergate' because it has all the potential consequences of Watergate, but everyone involved is really stupid." So stupid, it turns out, that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-California) and other members of Congress have revealed that they don't seem to understand the basics of how Congress works.
Rep. Nunes made headlines recently when he got involved in the wiretap scandal that is besieging the White House right now. Nunes - who is the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee that is investigating Trump's connections with Russia - surprised colleagues and the press by going to the White House to tell the Trump administration that incidental surveillance of the president's transition team might have occurred in 2016.
However, that info is about as spurious as it is irrelevant because it doesn't back up Trump's unsubstantiated claim that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election. Worse yet, it appears as though the source of the new information was the White House itself.
"To recap, Devin took what appears to be an unnecessary trip to tell what appears to be unimportant news to what may have been the source of the news itself, so what Nunes has brought to light has turned out to be a bunch of smoke and mirrors [that is] as convoluted as it is pointless," Oliver noted. "But wait, because 'Stupid Watergate' found a way to get even stupider. Because the surveillance Nunes was studying involved the Trump transition team of which one member was - yeah, you guess it - Devin-fucking-Nunes. Which seems like a pretty clear conflict of interest, so it was important for Republicans to make clear just how independent he is from the White House. But they couldn't even do that properly."
In fact, the explanation offered by Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Florida) suggests that he and fellow Republicans don't understand their own government. Rep. Yoho recently defended Nunes by incorrectly suggesting that members of Congress work for the president as well as their constituents. In other words, Yoho doesn't seem to get how Congress works.
"And that is why this story is 'Stupid Watergate,'" Oliver concluded. "It could very well take down the government. But nobody involved understands why, or how to cover it up, or what the government fucking is, or possibly how to breathe without getting regular reminders."