Opinion

America's late-night hosts can't get past Trump's revealing Charlottesville press conference

"Mind you, this is him on vacation — he can't even get vacation right!"

President Trump's news conference on Tuesday was still the top story on Wednesday, and the top topic of conversation on late-night TV. On The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon shifted from sorrow to tragicomic mirth about Trump's comments on Charlottesville. "Mind you, this is him on vacation — he can't even get vacation right!" Fallon said. "Imagine coming back to the office, 'Hey, how was your two-week break?' 'It was good. I defended Nazis. What'd you do?'" Trump seems to be getting "loopy," he added. "I guess this morning Trump went to the Trump Tower lost-and-found looking for his mind."

"It's crazy — I'm starting to miss the old days when we were on the verge of war with North Korea," Fallon said. He showed the photo of Chief of Staff John Kelly listening to Trump, head bowed, then played a highlight reel of other people standing uncomfortably behind Trump while he's speaking, followed by an edited-together reel of what Trump should have said on Tuesday, and a fake ad for Trump Winery.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel suggested that Trump "couldn't help but to defend Nazis and Klan members and white supremacy — he just couldn't hold it in," adding, "It was an absolute train wreck, even for him." He laughed at Trump tweeting that he was disbanding his emptying business advisory councils "like a kid who cancels his birthday party because only the clown showed up. 'You can't break up with me, I'm breaking up with you first.'" But nobody on his staff has quit, and in fact many are trying to defend him from the racism charges, some more successfully than others (ahem, Michael Cohen). Kimmel ended by interviewing a Kellyanne Conway puppet.

The Late Show's Stephen Colbert said "Donald Trump drove America's moral leadership right through the guardrails" on Tuesday, after grudgingly saying the right thing on Monday. After Trump said what he truly felt on Tuesday, he added, "everywhere in this country, people were horrified: North, South; Republican, Democrat; top, bottom; sweet, sour. But do you know who loved what Donald Trump said? Donald Trump." The president was reportedly elated after his press conference, saying he felt liberated — "emancipated," even, Colbert suggested, slipping into this Trump voice: "Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty I am free at last. You like that? Melania wrote that. She's very good."

On Late Night, Seth Meyers spent most of his "Closer Look" segment arguing that Trump "showed us again who he really is: a lying racist who's desperate for praise," taking special issue with Trump's assertion that "very fine people" participated in the Tiki-torch parade. "No, there are no fine people marching with Nazis and white supremacists," he said. "No one gets accidentally caught up in a white supremacist rally, it just doesn't happen — except for that one time on Seinfeld...."

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