Speed Reads

Last Night Tackles Trump and Russia

Seth Meyers talks with a worried GOP senator about Trump's Russia intel problem, puts the report in context

Right before Late Night taped on Monday, The Washington Post dropped its bombshell report about President Trump allegedly sharing highly classified intelligence with top Russian diplomats in the Oval Office last week. Seth Meyers asked his guest, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), if he had any reaction, and Sasse made three interesting points: "Sources and methods are the lifeblood of our intelligence community, and we need spies because the world is a broken place"; the media will often "hyperventilate real quickly, and it's hard to calibrate some of these stories" and if they're really "Defcon 4"; and "it's Russia, and that's not helpful at this time, because they don't have our interests at heart."

In his Closer Look segment, Meyers touched only briefly on the Washington Post report, making a joke about why the Russians ares smiling so broadly in the Oval Office photographs. But he did spend a good deal of time on the past week in Trump's presidency, which he said "feels very much like a pivotal point for our democracy."

He started with Trump firing FBI Director James Comey. "Trump openly admits that he asked the FBI director if he was under investigation, and then fired the FBI director specifically because of that investigation," Meyers said. "In a way, it's actually disorienting how blatant Trump is about all the shady stuff he does. Trump just admits to wrongdoing and then dares the rest of us to do something about it."

Trump's actions over the past week are "insane," he said. "Trump is worse than Nixon — he's shameless Nixon. Nixon famously said, 'I am not a crook'; Trump is basically saying: I am a crook, and there's nothing you can do about it, in fact after dinner tonight I'm having three scoops of ice cream." Meyers ended with a civics lesson: "Trump has now been turned down on loyalty pledges by the director of the FBI and a dog, and that dog is right: In our system, we don't pledge loyalty to presidents. In fact, there are supposed to be checks on the president to prevent these kinds of abuses of power. But those checks only work if the other branches of government exercise them." The judiciary has done so, but Congress? Not so much. "Republicans can't just abdicate their responsibility," he said. For that, and Trump's odd beliefs about exercise and the body's battery, watch below. Peter Weber