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Trevor Noah runs down Robert Mueller's non-answer answer about Trump's obstruction herpes

Yoda, Trevor Noah
Screenshot: The Daily Show

The Daily Show was the only late-night game in town on this holiday week Wednesday, leaving host Trevor Noah the only host on duty to cover the long-awaited, now longer-to-be-debated public comments by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. First up, Noah derided his sort-of colleagues in the cable news punditry biz for spending the hour between the announcement and the actual press conference doing their best breathless, groundless speculation schtick, and suggesting that more of a David Attenborough, post-event analysis approach might produce something more useful (if less ratings-grabby). Noah also noted that this was the first time most of us were going to hear the intensely no-nonsense Mueller speak, opening the door for his own speculation that the decorated military and FBI veteran might just get up to the podium and unleash a stream of Minion-esque babble. (It turns out that Mueller’s demeanor is—shocker—no-nonsense.)

As to what Mueller actually said in his summation of the report that bears his name, Noah pointed out that, while Mueller declined to come right out and yell “Jesus-fucking-Christ, the President of the fucking United States conspired with a foreign government and then used the powers of office to cover that shit up! What do you need a fucking invitation to impeach the doddering, incompetent crook, or do I have to do everything for you? Jesus!,” he wasn’t exactly subtle, either. Essentially saying “It’s all there in what I wrote, dumbasses” by stating at the outset that, if he could have said Trump was innocent, he would have, Mueller, according to Noah, wasn’t playing around. (Even if Noah suggested that even Yoda would find Mueller’s linguistic contortions a little confusing.) Moving on to a simile everyone can relate to, Noah compared Mueller’s spoon-feeding answer to a potential sexual partner explaining gingerly, “Well, if I had confidence that I did not have herpes, I would have said so.”

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Still, for not coming out and saying Donald Trump has “obstruction herpes,” Noah expressed frustration with Mueller’s stern schoolmaster lawyer-speak, especially since Mueller implied he wouldn’t be taking any further questions about his conclusions, either from the press or from Congress. Noah even dispatched (via green screen) Daily Show correspondents Roy Wood Jr. and Ronny Chieng to try to strongarm some answers out of the former Marine. It went about as well as you’d expect.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.