Late Night Tackles President Trump
June 20, 2019

Many people said the atmosphere at President Trump's Tuesday night re-election kickoff rally in Orlando "was like a music festival, and it was like a musical festival, specifically the Fyre Festival," Jimmy Kimmel said on Wednesday's Kimmel Live. "Trump was on fire — or at least his pants were. He jumped around from lie to lie, from hot topic to hot topic, like Joy Behar on Adderall." Kimmel quickly ran through some of Trump's bigger "whoppers" and laughed at Trump's big plans. "This would be a lot of scientific progress from a guy who stared directly into a solar eclipse," he said. "Why even bother curing cancer? Why not just deny that cancer exists, like you do everything else?"

Kimmel showed the empty, trash-strewn field where Trump's fans were supposed to have been watching his rally on a big screen. "That was the prefect visual metaphor for the Trump presidency," he said. "All that was missing is Ted Nugent shooting beer koozies with a crossbow." Kimmel threw in a new fake hair product line to highlight all the information former Trump aide Hope Hicks didn't tell a House panel on Wednesday,

"As the hearings related to the Russia investigation and obstruction ramp up, Republicans in the House have come up with a list of words they don't want Democrats to use when describing the president — for real," Kimmel said, showing the list of "no-no words." House Republicans say the words "violate longstanding congressional rules, words like 'crook,' 'con man,' 'corruption,' demagogue,' 'draft dodger,' 'misogynist,' 'racists,' 'sexual...' — basically, they don't want them to call him anything he is," Kimmel said, and to understand why, he spoke with a fictional Republican congressman, played by Fred Willard, who had some real information and a lot of no-no words. Watch below. Peter Weber

June 18, 2019

President Trump is officially kicking off his re-election campaign with a rally in Orlando on Tuesday, "and it makes sense he'd do it in the home of Disney, because his ideas are goofy and his base is snow white," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. "Turns out, Trump's approval rating in Orlando is only 29 percent, and most of that is from SeaWorld, after he held that big meeting with the Prince of Whales."

So far, things are a little rough for Trump's campaign — he's trailing Joe Biden badly in a new Fox News poll and also leaked internal polls. "But Trump solved the problem of low poll numbers by firing his pollsters," Colbert said. "That's like firing a canary in a coal mine for its 'bad attitude.'"

Trump "talked about polling in an interview that aired last night with George Stephanopoulos," Colbert said, and he laughed at Stephanopoulos busting Trump for lying about reading the Mueller report, Trump calling Stephanopoulos "a little wise guy," and Trump tossing acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney from the Oval Office for coughing. "Can you imagine working for that guy?" he asked.

The Daily Show's Trevor Noah also marveled at Trump's all-access interview with Stephanopoulos, focusing on Trump's evident love of giving tours, how he "basically treats polls the way some people treat their bathroom scales," and Noah's "favorite moment from this interview," Trump's coughing fit.

"It's like a real-life episode of The Office," Noah laughed. "He's looking at the camera, the camera's going over. ... You have to give it to Trump — he might not be a good president, but he's a fantastic television professional." Also, he added, "I don't think it was a coincidence that his chief of staff just happened to cough right when Trump was talking about releasing his tax returns. Yeah, that didn't sound like a real cough, it sounded more like a 'Shut the f--k up about your taxes!'"

The Late Show had the same thought. Peter Weber

May 16, 2019

President Trump's lawyers asked a federal judge Tuesday to block a House subpoena for Trump's financial documents, on the grounds that Congress has essentially no authority to investigate the president for anything. "Wow, that's a big swing," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "Right now, Nixon's ghost is going, 'What the hell? Can I have a redo?'"

"One person who is cooperating with Congress," Colbert said, is Donald Trump Jr. "After weeks of ignoring their subpoena, last night Junior struck a deal for a 'limited' interview" with the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee. "To be fair, every meeting with Don Jr. involves limited intelligence," he joked. But the tactic of scaling back the interview by first taking an extreme position is straight out of his father's playbook, Colbert added, acting out an imaginary negotiation between Trump and Don Jr.

Yes, "DJTJ has reached a deal to appear before the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee to try and convince them he doesn't know anything," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. "I don't know, for him, how hard can that be?" Under the deal, "Don Jr. will testify for up to four hours and he can only be asked questions on five or six topics," Kimmel said, listing some possibilities, real and fake. "Why does everything this family does turn into a game show? Everything." Watch below. Peter Weber

May 10, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says President Trump is making his own case for impeachment, and Stephen Colbert was confused. "I don't know about 'self-impeachable,' but he is you-impeachable," he said on Thursday's Late Show. Trump argued Thursday he cooperated with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Mueller found "no collusion and, essentially, no obstruction." Colbert blinked. "'Essentially'? — that's a new one," he said. "There are 10 counts of obstruction outlined in the Mueller report. That's like Moses coming down from the mountain and saying, 'I just talked to God — essentially, no commandments.'"

Colbert chuckled over the White House welcoming the Boston "Red Socks" on Thursday, though "Trump hosted only some of the Red Sox, because at least 10 players, all Latino or African-American, elected not to attend," he said. "Apparently, they didn't want to be in a place associated with racism — other than Fenway Park."

"Red Socks?" Jimmy Kimmel asked at Kimmel Live, "There is no detail too small for them to screw up — I hope they don't ever invite Courtney Cox to the White House! ... And then later in the day, they screwed up again," calling the Red Sox the "World Cup Series" champions, he noted. "Everyone working at the White House is a dope."

Kimmel wasn't convinced we'll learn anything new from Trump's tax returns, though. Everyone knows Trump is "a fraud," but "half of America doesn't care," he said. "Democrats don't realize, it's basically the WWE, it's wrestling, but they're trying to prove that the Undertaker isn't an actual undertaker. Like, 'Hey, this guy has no license to practice funeral directing in any state,' and the Republicans are like: 'Uh, yeah, we know, would you mind stepping aside so we can watch him hit someone with a folding chair?'" He was underwhelmed with Trump's complaints at Wednesday's rally in the Florida Panhandle.

Trump did praise his fans at the Florida rally for, among other things, paying their taxes, Colbert noted. "You know what they say: Opposites attract." Watch below. Peter Weber

April 30, 2019

"This week, the emperor of Japan is giving up the throne," Jimmy Fallon said on Monday's Tonight Show. "If you want to know more, just read the 50 articles about it that Prince Charles taped to the queen's fridge." Back in the U.S., "the race for 2020 is heating up, a lot of people are talking about how old the candidates are," but not President Trump, Fallon said. "Check out what Trump had to say about his own age." Yes, he deadpanned, "nothing says 'young, vibrant man' like a 72-year-old yelling at people on his front lawn."

"As a spry 72-year-old himself, Trump is looking to paint himself as a young, fresh-faced alternative to Joe Biden," Stephen Colbert joked at The Late Show. Still, "I am a young, vibrant man" is "what you usually hear someone say as the nurse leads them out of the parking lot back into the day room. ... And what does he mean, 'I'm the youngest person'? Of all of his 10,000 lies, that might be the biggest."

With more than 10,000 recorded false or misleading statements as president, Trump is "not just a pathological liar — he is now a mythological liar," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. He showed a montage of Trump saying "It's true" after saying something outrageous.

Kimmel also wished "a belated happy birthday" to first lady Melania Trump, who turned 49 on Friday, and he raised an eyebrow at the photo the White House used to wish her many happy returns. "I love this because someone at the White House had to go through all the pictures of Melania for her birthday, and this is the happiest one they found," he said. "Not only did Melania get a birthday tweet, her husband cooked up, he arranged a very, very special double date to celebrate her special day." Watch below. Peter Weber

April 17, 2019

Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show that he "was shocked and horrified" to watch Notre Dame cathedral burn in Paris on Monday, but "the news isn't all bad." There were no deaths, "and while the roof was lost and the spire collapsed, the church itself survived, including the magnificent rose window," he said, showing his team's recreation of the stained glass masterpiece on the domed ceiling of the Ed Sullivan Theater.

France has vowed to rebuild Notre Dame, and French corporations and business tycoons have already pledged more than $700 million, but "I just pray that they don't sell the naming rights," Colbert joked. "It would just not be the same to visit the Tostitos Notre Dame Cathedral at Monster Energy Ile de la Cite."

Meanwhile, as "the fire was just raging at its hottest, Donald Trump offered his, um, help?" Colbert said, reading the president's tweeted advice to use "flying water tankers" and fight the fire "quickly!" He acted out how Trump must have imagined France would react to his unsolicited counsel, but in fact, France's civil security service did respond, Colbert noted. And "for firefighters, they really know how to give a sick burn."

Trump also offered unsought advice to Boeing on Monday, and Colbert took Trump's rhetorical question — "What the hell do I know?" — literally. "Not much, which is maybe why you shouldn't be tweeting about how to put out fires and fix planes," he said. "First you should learn how to drink a glass of water, close an umbrella, and pass a flag without copping a feel."

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's redacted report will now be released Thursday, not Tuesday, as originally planned, Colbert said. "The Justice Department delayed it with no explanation. I have a feeling they're hoping to bury it over that holiday weekend, because if there's one thing Easter is famous for, it's things staying buried." He winked. Watch below. Peter Weber

April 11, 2019

Wednesday was the deadline for the IRS to turn over six years of President Trump's tax returns to House Democrats, but "he's never going to let us see those taxes," Jimmy Kimmel said on Wednesday's Kimmel Live. And it's not because of audits or anything else, Kimmel added: "I believe the reason he won't show us his taxes is because he's not as rich as he claims to be."

Kimmel turned to Politico's recounting of a trip Trump took last year to Mount Vernon with French President Emmanuel Macron. "Trump was reportedly underwhelmed," he said. "He complained that the rooms in the house were too small, the staircases were too narrow, and the toilets were colored white instead of gold, the traditional presidential color."

Trump also asked the tour guide if Washington was really rich, "which is a good question, if you are in kindergarten," Kimmel said. "Then he said if George Washington had been smart, he would have put his name on Mount Vernon, [because,] he said, 'You've got to put your name on stuff or no one remembers you.' That's why he put his name on Donald Jr., because otherwise no one will remember him."

Trump "does know Washington has a whole city named after him?" Kimmel asked. "It's called Washington, and he lives in it. If he was your uncle, it would be funny, right?"

Yes, Trump reportedly said of Washington, "If he was smart, he would've put his name on it," Seth Meyers said at Late Night. "Trump then added, "But I guess he was stupid,' before returning to Washington, D.C.'"

"When a staffer said, 'Sir, where you live is named after him,' Trump said, 'You mean, George Washington's real last name was Mar-a-Lago Golf Course?'" Jimmy Fallon joked at The Tonight Show. Watch his entire monologue below. Peter Weber

April 4, 2019

President Trump savaged windmills on Tuesday night, and Wednesday's Late Show reminded everyone why Trump might be scared of the wind.

Yes, at a Republican dinner where he also had the chutzpah to roast Joe Biden for being handsy, Trump "started attacking windmills," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "Yeah, you heard me, windmills," and some of the attacks were a little out of left field. "I really can't believe that I have to say this, people, but noise from windmills does not cause cancer," he said. "In fact, at this point, it's probably one of the only things that doesn't cause cancer."

It turns out, windmills are "Trump's arch enemy," Noah said. "They're part of his origin story, like a superhero whose parents were killed by a very slowly moving fan." Trump's "got all kinds of reasons" for dissing windmills, "starting with the danger they pose to America's most precious resources, television," he said. Also, national security and ... birds.

"To be fair to Trump, windmills do kill birds, and some people are legitimately concerned about it," Noah said. "But I don't think Donald Trump is one of those people." He dug into why "Donald Quixote over here is in a war with windmills," and it turns out "it was never really about birds or television; it was always about golf," he said. And that knowledge could save the world.

The Late Show's Stephen Colbert solemnly mocked the idea of Trump grieving birds: "Here he is attending a wake for a beloved chicken. The funeral was open-bucket. 'Rest in 12-piece.'" He also rolled his eyes at the cancer head-scratcher. "Of course windmills cause cancer," Colbert deadpanned. "That's why everyone in Holland is dead. Also, noise does not cause cancer — although I believe listening to Donald Trump might cause brain damage." Watch below. Peter Weber

See More Speed Reads