Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles President Trump

Stephen Colbert has some suggestions for what Trump should have said in Charlottesville

Monday's Late Show began with a quietly brutal, spliced-together speech that President Trump could have given on Saturday, after white nationalists, the KKK, and neo-Nazis tore through Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, but did not.

In his monologue, Stephen Colbert said he did not understand why Trump didn't just immediately condemn Nazis and the KKK, and recited an impressive list of things Trump has slammed. "After the president blew the easiest condemnation of all time, Trump took criticism from many sides, many sides," Colbert said. "But he did get praise from one group: neo-Nazis," and also, the KKK, specifically "former KKK grand wizard and current taxidermy lizard" David Duke. The White House put out an anonymous statement on Sunday claiming that "of course" Trump condemns the white supremacist extremists, Colbert noted, but "some people didn't need their anti-Nazi statements explained later," including Charlottesville's mayor.

Colbert had a laugh at the white supremacists marching with Tiki torches the night before the violence. "That's like villagers coming after Frankenstein holding scented candles," he said. "Your move, lawn flamingos." Tiki didn't find it so funny, putting out a statement disavowing the use of its torches in white-power rallies. "I've gotta say, it's pretty troubling when a backyard decoration comes out swinging stronger against Nazis than the president of the United States," Colbert said. But 48 hours after his "many sides" comment, Trump did read a proper condemnation on Monday, then took a pot shot at CNN's Jim Acosta when he asked if there was going to be a news conference, as advertised. "Sir, see how fast you condemned CNN, right off the top of your head with no script?" Colbert asked. "Next time, like that, but with Nazis." Peter Weber