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John Oliver Says Donald Trump Was Saved From Russian Collusion by 'Incompetence' and 'Disobedience'

John Oliver, host of HBO's Last Week Tonight, said the two "key factors" that might have saved President Donald Trump from prosecution, as revealed in Robert Mueller's long-awaited report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, were “cartoonish levels of disorganization and incompetence” of those around him.

The late-night TV host dedicated a large portion of Sunday night's episode of Last Week Tonight to the special counsel’s 448-page report, noting how “some of the details in this report were incredible.”

Among the findings in the report were that Trump was investigated at least 10 times over possible acts of obstruction of justice in relation to the investigation. “If we had confidence…that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,” the report stated.

“That last line is a a pretty conspicuous non-exoneration,” Oliver noted. The host said that he could not cover everything in the mammoth report so would zero in on the two factors that might have saved Trump: “Incompetence when it came to conspiracy with Russia, and disobedience when it came to obstruction of justice.”

Oliver first addressed incompetence, which he said began with Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen, who was found to be in contact with Russians throughout much of the presidential campaign, especially in connection with Trump’s plans to build a tower in Moscow.

Oliver described how Cohen was “laughably inept” during this time, including typing an incorrect email address when trying to contact Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov, and how he once mistook Dmitry Klokov, a former press secretary to Russia’s energy minister, for an ex-Olympic weightlifter of the same name when he contacted Ivanka Trump offering his assistance to the campaign.

“It wasn’t just Cohen,” Oliver noted. “The report found multiple instances where people tied to the Russian government offered Trump’s campaign assistance and in some instances the campaign was receptive, but the thing that seemed to stop closer coordination from happening was often cartoonish levels of disorganization and incompetence.

“When it comes to conspiracy, Trump’s saving grace may have been that, despite Russians wanting to help, everyone around them was too inept to work with them,” Oliver said.

He suggested that Trump might have also been saved by his team's refusing to follow his orders when he directed them to carry out an act that would have amounted to obstruction of justice.

“Trump’s saving grace there may have been that, despite ample evidence that he tried to do it, everyone around him was too disobedient to listen,” Oliver said.

According to the report, at least 10 current or former White House officials or associates refused to carry out Trump's orders while he was trying to control the scope of Mueller's investigation.

“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,” Oliver said.

trump Donald Trump arrives at Palm Beach International airport, Florida on April 18. Late-night TV host John Oliver said incompetence when it came to conspiracy with Russia, and disobedience when it came to obstruction of justice might have saved the president from criminal prosecution. NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

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