Late Night Tackles Trump versus the World
October 22, 2020

President Trump picked a fight with 60 Minutes on Tuesday and threatened to release his own version of his interview with Lesley Stahl. Wednesday's Late Show got there first.

"Seriously, if you're trying to win the senior vote, you can't insult 60 Minutes," Jimmy Fallon said at The Tonight Show. "That's like trying to win the youth vote by banning TikTok." Trump put a brave face on his 60 Minutes debacle, he said, but in footage taken right afterward "he looks like Rudy Giuliani on his way to the Borat premiere."

"It was revealed today that Rudy Giuliani was caught on video with his hands down his pants while alone in a hotel room with a woman he thought was a conservative journalist, as part of the filming of Borat 2," Seth Meyers said on Late Night, attributing that "late-breaking story" to Mad Libs.

"Now, this doesn't look great, but Rudy says he has a perfectly innocent explanation," Stephen Colbert said at The Late Show. Too bad it isn't believable, he added. "I watched the footage. Why did you go into a bedroom at the suggestion of a young woman to have cocktails — to take off a mic? I take off a mic every night. Never once have I reclined on a king size bed and then launched a fact-finding mission to my own groin."

As for Trump, "we should never let his stupidity overshadow the fact that he's also a heartless monster who must be driven from office," Colbert said, pointing to the "chilling news" that the U.S. still can't find the parents of 545 migrant kids Trump separated at the border. "That's not a child on a milk carton, that's the whole dairy aisle," the equivalent of "eight school busses full of children," he said. And you're voting on that issue whether you want to or not.

"Yesterday alone we learned that Trump has a secret bank account in China, and his administration now cannot find the parents of 545 children they intentionally separated from their mothers — this is quite a closing argument he's making," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. "Of course Donald Trump has a Chinese bank account. He had to, he's running out of things to be hypocritical about."

Meanwhile, "the pope has gone rogue all of a sudden — he's talking like Jesus," Kimmel said. "It's crazy — we live in a time when the head of the Catholic Church is more progressive on same-sex marriage than the vice president of the United States." Watch below. Peter Weber

December 5, 2019

President Trump just got back from London for NATO's 70th anniversary summit, Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "Like on most anniversaries, Trump was in a bad mood, wishing he was with a younger Eastern European ally." He showed part of Trump's long public meet-and-greet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. "These sit-downs with world leaders are only supposed to be brief photo opportunities," he explained, "so afterwards, other world leaders were caught on tape commiserating about it."

Trudeau — joined by French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Britain's Princess Anne — gawked about how he saw Trump's "team's jaws drop to the floor" at one point, and Colbert mock-scolded him: "Hey Justin, be nice! Stephen Miller's jaw only does that when it's feeding time and they bring him the baby deer."

"And now the bombing of Canada begins," Jimmy Kimmel deadpanned on Kimmel Live. "Trump cut the trip short after seeing" the video, and NATO allies "talking about him behind his back" is "absolutely unacceptable. How dare they laugh at our ridiculous president! That is our job." The deepest cut, Kimmel said, was Trump pal Johnson joining in the mockery. "Wasn't Donald Trump the one who said the world is laughing at us and he's going to make it stop?" he asked, showing a video montage. "Well, mock him up!"

It's amazing to learn that "when world leaders get together, they're gossipy bitches just like the rest of us," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "Trump's not wrong — Justin Trudeau is 'two-faced': He's got a white one and a brown one," he joked, pivoting to empathy: "I know a lot of people don't like Trump, but I don't care who you are, man, every single one of us knows this feeling — finding out all the cool kids at school are laughing at you." He acted this out.

"Here's how you know when you're really disliked: When you get a Canadian to talk smack about you," James Corden joked at The Late Late Show. "But this is my favorite part," when "the queen's daughter, Princess Anne, appeared to snub the Trumps," shrugging off her mom's signal to come meet the president, he narrated. "It's good to see that no matter your age, wealth, or status, deep down, we're all still kids trying to avoid talking to our parents' weird friends." Watch below. Peter Weber

December 4, 2019

President Trump is in London, "mixing it up with other world leaders at the NATO summit," and also Queen Elizabeth II, Jimmy Kimmel said on Tuesday's Kimmel Live. "You know how you're not supposed to walk in front of the queen — it's like a rule? Well, for once, Donald Trump tried to be courteous," and he couldn't quite pull it off.

When "asked today about another member of the royal family," Prince Andrew, under fire for ties to Jeffrey Epstein, Trump claimed he "doesn't know him," Kimmel said, showing some of the ample photographic evidence of them hanging out. "These guys have taken more photos together than most cousins, but he doesn't know him. Does he think we don't have Google? And by the way, he does this all the time. No one has 'never met' more people than Donald Trump."

Kimmel also touched on Trump's tense meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, odd defense of NATO, and shrug at North Korea's new threats, plus the new revelations about Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and other Trump allies in the House Intelligence Committee's impeachment report. "Trump is getting angrier by the day, he's especially unhappy with the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff," Kimmel said, playing Trump's comments at the NATO summit. "So just to recap: Adam Schiff, maniac, deranged sick man; Kim Jong Un, good friend, great guy."

The Daily Show's Trevor Noah also found Trump's defense of NATO strange, given his past criticism. "NATO is 'old, fat, and sloppy?' Why is it that every insult Trump uses against others always seems to really be about himself?" Mostly, Noah focused on Trump's feud with Macron, from the "brain dead" fight to the new trade war. "In response to France announcing taxes on American tech companies, Trump is now threatening to tax all the most clichéd French goods, like wine, cheese, and handbag," Noah said. "He was probably also going to tax French fries and mistresses, but that hit too close to home." Watch below. Peter Weber

October 8, 2019

"Can we take away Donald Trump's phone?" Stephen Colbert asked on Monday's Late Show. The latest bad thing the president did on his phone is agree to withdraw U.S. troops from Kurdish-held northern Syria after a call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he said. "This is a complete betrayal of the Kurdish fighters who helped the U.S. defeat ISIS, and there's only one way out of this: Kurds, you've got 24 hours to dig up dirt on Joe Biden."

Trump's decision brought swift condemnation from some of his most stalwart allies, Colbert said. "Look how uncomfortable the Fox & Friends are. ... I can't believe Trump has lost Brian Kilmeade. That's like Timmy losing Lassie." In fact, "people on both sides of the aisle unloaded on Trump for this betrayal, so Trump went on Twitter and went full twit," he said, pausing at Trump's "great and unmatched wisdom" line: "Wow, he's gone full god-emperor."

Colbert ran through a number of new devolvements in the Trump impeachment investigation, deadpanning: "They're really starting to build a case that the president did the thing he has repeatedly admitted."

Yes, "the impeachment case against Donald Trump has seen a number of big developments," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "A second whistleblower stepped forward, damning text messages from American diplomats were released, and Rudy Giuliani was caught going through Joe Biden's trash — yeah, he wasn't looking for dirt, he was just hungry." Instead of trying to put out those fires, though, Trump blindsided the Pentagon and alienated his allies with his "insane" late-night policy reversal, he said, explaining why this is "a big deal."

"Trump's surprise military move has now put the Kurds at risk, and without the Kurds, ISIS could make a comeback — and not in like a cool, small-part-in-a-Tarantino-movie kind of way," Noah said. "I do think there is one option" to get Trump to change his mind, though, he added: "Kurdish forces, you need to phone Trump and you need to tell him you have dirt on Joe Biden, but if he wants it, he's gonna have to give you military aid — or as I like to call it, a Kurd pro quo." Watch below. Peter Weber

March 20, 2019

President Trump is both modestly bragging about donating his $400,000 salary to the Homeland Security Department and proposing to strip $5 billion from the DHS budget, Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. "So Trump's paycheck donation is like robbing a restaurant then, on your way out, throwing a nickel in the tip jar."

Trump "gets paid nothing to be president, and today he earned every penny," Colbert continued. On Tuesday, Trump hosted Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, "often called the 'Trump of the Tropics,' which is also what Trump will be called when his climate policies turn Ohio into a rain forest." Colbert scratched his head over Trump's ad-lib at a joint press conference about socialism's "twilight hour" and chuckled at his suggestion that Brazil join NATO.

Yes, "why isn't Brazil in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?" Colbert pondered in Trump voice. "And, while I've got them on the phone, I'm going to ask why aren't I in the NAACP?" Watch below. Peter Weber

December 6, 2018

Former President George H.W. Bush was memorialized at Washington's National Cathedral on Wednesday, and everybody was there. "It was quite a moving sight to see the presidents and the first ladies in the front row, waiting to honor President Bush, chatting comfortably with one another — until Trump showed up, then it became silent staring time," Stephen Colbert narrated on The Late Show. "Donald Trump is the only person in the world who can bring down a funeral. Then came the point in the ceremony where the priest and the congregation read the Apostles' Creed — see if you can spot the odd person out in this clip." (Spoiler: It was Trump)

"Trump was famously not invited to former first lady Barbara Bush's funeral, but he was welcome today, after the Bush family promised Trump that the funeral would avoid criticizing him," Colbert said. "They even assured him that the choir would drown out the sound of other ex-presidents rolling in their graves." Still, every mention of Bush's integrity and kindness was an implicit rebuke to Trump, he added. "As soon as you start praising someone's honesty, you're automatically throwing shade at Donald Trump. I mean, Obama made Trump seem like a bad president just by sitting next to him."

Yes, Bush's funeral "was a time of reflection, remembrance, and uncomfortable seating arrangements," Dulcé Sloan said on Wednesday's Daily Show. "That funeral was so awkward, and that was before Trump started roasting everybody." He didn't in real life, but on The Daily Show, Trump really let loose.

Sloan and mute host Trevor Noah also had some jokes on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's heavily redacted memo on Michael Flynn. "That thing's more blacked-out than Brett Kavanaugh on a school night," Sloan quipped. Noah joined in, using an app: "This document is so black, some white lady is going to call the cops on it." Watch below. Peter Weber

December 4, 2018

President Trump "was at the G-20 summit over the weekend, as he faced his most serious legal threat yet from the Russia investigation," Seth Meyers said on Monday's Late Night, noting this isn't the first time Trump traveled abroad "under a cloud of suspicion." He compared Trump to "a guy who goes on a date and tries to ignore the fact that his ankle bracelet is beeping like crazy," adding that the "increasingly damning" revelations from the Russia investigation have always made Trump's relationships with other world leaders "super awkward."

"Trump is desperate to socialize at these things, but he's so bad at it," Meyers said, showing a cold reception from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Trump wandering off during a photo shoot with Argentina's president, Mauricio Macri. "I've had better luck getting my dog to take a Christmas photo in her Santa hat," he joked. And Trump had to cancel his meeting with the one leader he seems comfortable with, Russia's Vladimir Putin, following revelations his lawyer Michael Cohen was negotiating to build a Trump Tower Moscow deep into the presidential campaign. This "damning development in the investigation" probably explains why Trump is "freaking out," Meyers suggested, running through Monday's "angry tirade" on Twitter.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel highlighted a different part of Trump's treaty-signing ceremony with Trudeau and Mexico's president, in which Trump took an awkwardly long time signing his name. "Now, keep in mind, he has 12 letters in his name, Donald J. Trump — it's not Enrique Peña Nieto," Kimmel said. He also was amused by Trump wandering away from Argentina's Macri. "The president has a habit of doing that sort of thing," he added. "He carries himself like a demented grandfather who accidentally wandered into a wedding ceremony." Kimmel showed some examples of Trump ambling away, then ended with an imagined roast of Trump by Macri. Watch below. Peter Weber

November 14, 2018

"Here we are once again: Trump wants to fire somebody," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. "But in a refreshing change of pace, it's not Donald, because today we found out that in a stunning move, first lady Melania Trump is calling for the firing of Deputy National Security Adviser Mira Ricardel. I assume Melania's doing it with her traditional goodbye gift, a jacket that says 'U Don't Really Work Here Anymore, Do U?'"

The first lady's office apparently believes Ricardel has been leaking negative stories about her, but "this story has unearthed some juicy behind-the-scenes details about the first lady's relationship with Chief of Staff John Kelly," including getting President Trump to yell at Kelly for not approving her promotion of staff members.

His wife's veering into Trump's "you're fired!" lane and Democrat Senator-elect Kyrsten Sinema's historic win in Arizona are "just the latest in a very bad week for the president — case in point, North Korea," Colbert said. Trump has been saying for months that he solved North Korea's nuclear crisis, "but somebody didn't get the memo that North Korea wasn't a threat anymore, and that somebody was Kim Jong Un," who is moving ahead with his ballistic missiles program at 16 hidden bases.

Trump responded to that and other embarrassing news with an active day on Twitter, and Colbert read and commented on the tweets — disputing Kim's missiles, defending his widely mocked decision to skip a World War I memorial in France due to rain, and several attacks on French President Emmanuel Macron, one of which included a threat to raise tariffs on French wines. "Aren't you losing support with suburban white women?" Colbert asked. "Maybe now's not the time to come after wine. What's next? Banning book clubs and Nancy Meyers movies?" Watch below. Peter Weber

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