Speed Reads

Late Show tackles president Trump

The Daily Show calls BS on President Trump's flurry of executive orders

In his first few days in office, President Trump has made a theatrical display of signing a dozen leather-bound executive orders, reportedly written by two top Trump advisers — policy aide Stephen Miller and strategist Stephen Bannon — and rushed through without consulting lawyers and experts at the agencies expected to carry them out. Trevor Noah tackled the flurry of executive orders on Wednesday's Daily Show, trying to weed through what they mean — and especially what they don't mean.

"A lot of people think that signing these orders means Trump is making up new laws, but that's not true," Noah said. "You see, the president has the authority to interpret and enforce existing laws — for example, Obama used the existing presidential power to hire federal employees to raise their minimum wage, because he knew they soon were all going to be unemployed." But a lot of the executive orders Trump signed in his first five days "don't mean anything," Noah said, pointing to Trump's proclamation that his inauguration day is a "National Day of Patriotic Devotion."

Trump's executive order on building his Mexico border wall sounds like he's checked off that box on his to-do list, "but all he did was sign a piece of paper — which is normally how Trump gets things built: signs it, the people build it," Noah said. "But in this case, he still needs Congress to allocate the money for it. So basically, this is like when a kid makes one of their Christmas lists — you can ask Santa for a pony, but unless your parents go spend money at the pony store...."

Some of Trump's other executive orders have real and more immediate consequences, like his draft proposal to ban visitors and refugees from several Muslim countries and his legally questionable blackmailing of "sanctuary cities," Noah said, but he offered a word of caution for both supporters and opponents of Trump's policies. "Look, I understand, seeing Donald Trump sign like a dozen executive orders in less than a week may make it seem like he's getting sh-t done," he said, but "remember, just because you signed an executive order doesn't mean it's going to get done. Because Obama's gone, but Guantanamo is still here." Watch below (note: there's some mildly NSFW language). Peter Weber