Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Trump Firing James Comey

Trevor Noah, Jimmy Kimmel have a bewildered laugh over Trump's 'gangsta excuse' for firing James Comey

On Tuesday evening, President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey — a fact Comey learned on TV and originally thought was a prank. That's great fodder for Wednesday's late-night TV, but on Tuesday the news was still fresh. On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah was in shock. "You can't just fire the FBI director," he said. "Like, I mean, if he's gone, who's going to investigate Russia's ties to — ohhhhhh."

"I know we said Trump was an African dictator," he said, "but right now, even Africans are watching this, going 'Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo, that Donald Trump does not f— around, eh?'" And the reason Trump gave for firing Comey? "It was a masterstroke," Noah said, laughing while he read parts of the rationale laid out by Trump's Justice Department appointees. "This is insane. Do you understand the excuse Trump is giving? Trump is basically saying he's doing this because of what Comey did to Hillary. That is the most gangsta excuse I have ever come — basically, Trump is going: 'I'm doing this to clear my good friend Crooked Hillary, because James Comey, folks, Comey clearly just wanted to lock her up, lock her up, lock her up.'"

He went on to recap the events in the Russia investigation that led up to Comey's firing, notably Monday's testimony by former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, whom Trump also fired.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, filmed in Los Angeles, Kimmel had a few hours to digest the news. And he still found it incredible, "kind of like O.J. firing Judge Ito halfway through the trial," Kimmel said. "This is unbelievable — this is the kind of thing dictators do. This is the kind of thing reality TV hosts do, they fire someone every week. Maybe that's what happened, he thinks he's still on The Celebrity Apprentice. It was between James Comey and Meatloaf, and, well, the Loaf won again." Kimmel also touched on the stated reason for firing Comey, which Kimmel also found "hilarious, because that would mean Trump fired James Comey for making him president. He really does hate doing this job." Peter Weber