Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles President Trump

Seth Meyers makes some good points about Donald Trump and Russian election meddling

Over the weekend, President-elect Donald Trump's casual "dissing" of the Army-Navy football game was overshadowed by reports that the CIA has firmly concluded that Russia interfered with the presidential election to help Trump reach the White House, Seth Meyers noted on Monday's Late Night. Russian agents reportedly hacked emails of both parties, but were suspiciously selective in which ones they leaked.

"So they only released the Democrats' emails, not the Republicans' — although to be fair, what could possibly be in the Republican emails that was more embarrassing than what their candidate was saying out loud in public?" Meyers asked. "Donald Trump is a hacked email come to life. 'Did you hear? Donald Trump made fun of the disabled.' 'In a private email?' 'No, into a microphone in an arena.'" Meyers noted that the RNC said it wasn't hacked and ridiculed Trump's assertion that he won a landslide in the Electoral College, then reviewed Trump's previous public doubts about the intelligence community's belief that Russia hacked the election — and Trump's alternate explanations. "A 400-pound guy at his home in New Jersey? Is he actively trying to frame Chris Christie?"

It can be healthy to take anonymous claims from intelligence officials with a huge grain of salt, so "we need a full investigation and the results to be made public," Meyers said, but Trump could also allay suspicions by repudiating Russia's involvement or at least not publicly questioning U.S. intelligence agencies. Instead, he is suggesting Russia is blame-free, filling his Cabinet with people with close Kremlin ties, and skipping intelligence briefings, explaining Sunday on Fox News that he's "like, a smart person" so doesn't need regular briefings. "Here's the thing about smart people: They don't go around telling people they're smart," he said, citing Stephen Hawking as proof.

"We're about to enter a potentially dangerous period," Meyers said, laughing for some reason: "A president with a weird affinity for authoritarians and dictators appointing plutocrats to his Cabinet and fighting with America's own intelligence agencies. I don't see how Trump could get away with all this — unless he finds a way to distract us all for the next four years." So.... Watch below. Peter Weber