John Oliver slammed Donald Trump's "moron" attorney Michael Cohen on Last Week Tonight over accusations that he sold access to the president for millions of dollars.
Cohen – whom the comedian described as "a lawyer so shitty, he made Trump say, 'I need someone good – get me Rudy Giuliani on the phone'" – was already under fire for his $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, a potential campaign-finance violation. Now he's facing further scrutiny over massive payments he received through his shell company Essential Consultants, LLC. While Cohen was allegedly selling access to his biggest client, Oliver found that claim "bizarre."
"I naturally assumed that you gained access to the president by finding a golden ticket in your MAGA hat," the host cracked. "Now, selling access is a serious allegation, and there is a lot that we don't know here. What we can say is, shortly after Trump was elected, Michael Cohen suddenly started making a lot of money."
According to financial statements, Essential Consultants, LLC took in $500,000 from Columbus Nova, an investment firm allegedly linked to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg; up to $1.2 million from pharmaceutical company Novartis; $150,000 from defense contractor Korea Aerospace Industries; and up to $600,000 from AT&T.
In an internal memo released last week, AT&T noted that it hired Cohen as one of "several consultants" in order to "help us understand how the President and his administration might approach a wide range of policy issues important to the company, including regulatory reform at the FCC, corporate tax reform and antitrust enforcement."
But Oliver argued that the company took the wrong approach. "If you want to understand this president's thinking," he said, "simply have a donkey kick you in the head five times and then watch Fox News for 72 hours straight. That would give you a pretty good idea about what’s going on his mind."
While Oliver conceded that we don't yet know "the full significance of all these payments," he noted that the companies got "exactly what they paid for."
"They wanted to understand how the Trump administration worked, and think about it: They put their trust in a political novice who turned out to be a total moron and was actually just bilking them for personal gain," he said. "So, you wanna know how the Trump administration works? Congratulations, you just got a fucking master class."