John Oliver (HBO)

John Oliver rips into Rudy Giuliani — "the Ken Bone of 9/11" — over his "truth isn't truth" blunder

Oliver calls Giuliani a "one-man legal improv troupe" for his ridiculous statements on "Meet the Press"


Rachel Leah
August 20, 2018 1:07PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, and the interview was so bizarre that John Oliver voiced a question we've all thought since Giuliani began making television appearances on the president's behalf: "Why does the White House keep letting him go on TV?"

"We begin this evening with Rudy Giuliani," Oliver said on HBO's "Last Week Tonight" Sunday, "the president's lawyer and a one-man legal improv troupe. Now Giuliani was on TV this morning to talk about the ongoing [Robert] Mueller investigation and he came up with a rationale for his boss's refusal to sit down with Mueller that was, even by Giuliani standards, very Giuliani."

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"Last Week Tonight" aired the clip of Trump's lawyer telling host Chuck Todd, "when you tell me that he should testify because he's going to tell the truth, that he shouldn't worry, well that's so silly because it's somebody's version of the truth, not the truth. He didn't have a conversation about . . ."

But Todd had to interject here. "Truth is truth," he told Giuliani.

"No it isn't, truth, truth isn't truth!" Giuliani replied.

At this point, Todd couldn't even maintain a straight face. He busted out laughing and even covered his face for a moment in what seemed like sheer disbelief. "This is going to become a bad meme," he said.

"Don't do this to me," Giuliani replied, as if what he just uttered was totally normal.

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"Don't do this to you?" Oliver responded to the clip. "You just said 'truth isn't truth! That isn't acceptable from a president's lawyer. It's barely acceptable from a sophomore philosophy major who just tried molly for the first time. 'Truth isn't truth, man, and also, toes are just feet fingers, I feel warm,'" the late-night comic said, imitating someone on drugs.

"And look, in fairness to Giuliani — the Ken Bone of 9/11 — that was not the dumbest thing he said in that interview," Oliver added. "Because just watch Giuliani, the president’s lawyer whose job is to potentially dismiss damning evidence of the Trump Tower meeting, basically do the exact opposite."

Todd pushed Giuliani to answer questions about the notorious meeting in Trump Tower during the Trump campaign between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer tied to Kremlin. However, Giuliani said it wasn't worth investigating because "the meeting was originally for the purpose of getting information about Clinton."

"Which in itself is attempted collusion!" Todd reminded Trump's lawyer. "You just said it! The meeting was intended to get dirt on Hillary Clinton from a Kremlin lawyer. That was the intention of the meeting, you just said it."

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"No, it's not!" Giuliani shot back.

"What is Giuliani doing and why does the White House keep letting him go on TV?!" Oliver screamed. "Because at this rate, Trump is going to wind up behind bars with Giuliani visiting him and saying, 'Don’t worry, Donald: Prison isn’t prison.'"

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Rachel Leah

Rachel Leah is a culture writer for Salon. You can follow her on Twitter: @rachelkleah.

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