Donald Trump's alleged ties to Russia have been dubbed "Stupid Watergate" by comedian John Oliver, who described the links as “a potential scandal with all of the intrigue of Watergate except everyone involved is really bad at everything.”
The Last Week Tonight host has made a habit of lambasting President Trump – "two words that still simply do not belong together, like 'baby pubes' or 'haunted horse'," as he quipped in the introduction to his latest show.
First in his crosshairs was Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is suspected of lying under oath before Congress about his meetings with Russian ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak.
Oliver described the Attorney General's now-discredited claim that he "did not have communications with the Russians" as "an unforced error," made in response to a separate question.
He said: "If you ask someone how their weekend was and they say 'well, I definitely wasn’t masturbating into the Slurpee machine at the 7-11', you check the f*cking security cameras at the 7-11 and you don’t act surprised.”
The British-born comedian repeatedly emphasised that "there is nothing inherently wrong" with meetings between American and Russian officials, but asked why members of Mr Trump's administration acted so suspiciously when interrogated about their relationship with Moscow.
"That was so unconvincing it probably set off an unplugged polygraph machine sitting in a closet somewhere," he said in response to a clip of President Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort denying his employer had links to any "Russian oligarchs".
This prompted Oliver to dub the whole affair "Stupid Watergate" - a reference to a major US political scandal in the 1970s that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
He said: "The relevant question isn’t so much 'what did the president know and when did he know it?' as it is 'is the president physically capable of knowing anything at all?'”
The comedian also tackled a flurry of tweets from President Trump, which saw him accuse his predecessor Barack Obama of wiretapping his offices during the 2016 election.
A Last Week Tonight voiceover observed that the US leader had "misspelled the word tap". Mr Trump had used "tapp".
The claims were presented as fact by President Trump, who wrote: "Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism! An investigation is ongoing."
But President Trump's spokespeople have been more cautious when discussing the accusations, and Mr Oliver asked why no proof had been presented to back up the incendiary claims.
“This is how things are going to work now," he said. "The President once saw a banana with a bruise that looked like a picture in an article he read in a dream and that is why we are at f*cking war.”Reuse content