John Oliver can't stand fake quotes. On Sunday's Last Week Tonight, the comedian blasted presidents and presidential candidates for saying quotes that founding fathers and historic politicians never said.
Oliver pointed to an October 5 interview with Ben Carson on Fox News, where the presidential candidate cited a false Thomas Jefferson quote on gun control.
"Thomas Jefferson himself said," Carson said on Fox News. "'Gun control works great for the people who are law-abiding citizens and it does nothing for the criminals, and all it does is put the people at risk.'"
Carson really cited a quote from Italian philosopher Cesare Beccaria that was copied by Jefferson into his law school notebook, according to Media Matters. The Thomas Jefferson Society said the wrongly cited Beccaria quote is "spurious" since it's not clear that Jefferson agreed or disagreed with Beccaria's words.
"You cannot give people credit for things they copied into notebooks," Olivers said. "Otherwise my teenage self would claim credit for the Pythagorean Theorem and most Smashing Pumpkins lyrics."
Watch Carson misquote Jefferson on Fox News, courtesy of Media Matters.