Before you watched it for the first time, you may have expected John Oliver's HBO show to simply recap the previous week's newsworthy events. In reality, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver selects just a few topics to zone in on. And some of those topics, such as opioids or dialysis, have little to do with the week prior and more to do with the national crises happening right under your nose each day. But on May 21, Oliver recapped the "Stupid Watergate" chain of events that made this past week absolutely insane. Ultimately, he posed four matter-of-fact questions about the Trump-Russia investigation you probably never expected you'd need to ask.
Oliver starts out with a simple inquiry that's probably swirling around in many Americans' brains at the moment: "What the f*ck is going on?" Sure, it's a simple question. But that doesn't mean it's easy to answer. The chaos began on Monday after The Washington Post reported that Trump allegedly shared highly classified information during a meeting with Russian officials. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster denied the report's claims that the information endangered a source in the Middle East.
"The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation," McMaster said. "At no time - at no time - were intelligence sources or methods discussed, and the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known." Trump responded by tweeting that he has the right to discuss common terror threats with other nations.
And that was just the beginning of the week. "Back then in the more innocent time of Monday, it felt like there simply could not be a bigger story than that," Oliver said. Well, on Tuesday, The New York Times reported that James Comey had written a memo in February claiming Trump allegedly asked him to shut down the investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. During a news conference, Trump denied ever asking Comey such a question, calling the investigation into possible ties between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia a "witch hunt."
Then, on Wednesday, the Department of Justice appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to head the Trump-Russia investigation. Later that same day, The New York Times reported the Trump team allegedly knew Flynn was under investigation weeks prior to the inauguration. Bustle reached out to the White House for comment on those allegations.
That brings Oliver to his second question: "How big a deal is this?" Well, it seems as though it even has some Republicans concerned. "You can tell how serious this is becoming by the fact that when the news started breaking this week, members of Trump's own party were suddenly hard to find," Oliver said. And those the news media could find weren't necessarily ready to defend Trump. Oliver played a clip of John McCain claiming the scandal surrounding the potential ties between Trump's campaign and Russia are reaching "Watergate-size and scale."
Thirdly, John Oliver asked "Where do we go from here?" reminding the audience that a President Mike Pence wouldn't be a walk in the park for those opposed to Trump. And ultimately, Oliver saved the best for last when he inquired, "Is this real life?" And honestly, it's a question everyone should keep asking because America can't afford to desensitize itself and begin considering these Trump-Russia updates — or "Stupid Watergate" updates as Oliver calls them — the new "normal."