Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles the Trump Administration

Trevor Noah and Seth Meyers dissect the Stephen Bannon interview, 'Billy Bush weekend'

Stephen Bannon's interview with 60 Minutes finally aired on Sunday, and the late-night reviews started coming in on Monday. "During his time with Trump, Bannon operated from the shadows," Trevor Noah said on The Daily Show. And after Sunday's interview, "everyone immediately said, 'Okay, this motherf---er should have stayed in the shadows." The interview itself "wasn't particularly eye-opening," Noah said. "Mostly, he just willingly confirmed that he is who we thought he was" and proved "how all-in" he is regarding his former boss. "If Donald Trump ever kills someone," he joked, "Bannon will be the guy driving the white supremacist Bronco."

Bannon talked about how Trump's salacious Access Hollywood tape was a "litmus test" that Chris Christie failed, and Charlie Rose adopted Bannon's euphemism for the scandal. "Billy Bush weekend?" Noah protested. "You can't name something after someone who happened to be there. That's like rebranding the JFK assassination 'Motorcade Driver's Bad Day.' You could describe it that way, but that's not why it's famous."

Bannon also shared his anti-immigrant view of American history, and Noah noticed one ingredient he left out of his "economic nationalism" cake: slavery. "You see what happened there, my friends?" he asked. "They took down the statues, and Steve Bannon forgot the history." But while Bannon held his own, Rose did get under his skin, Noah said, playing Bannon's not-so-subtle tell. The Daily Show took that tic and turned it into something ... special.

On Late Night, Seth Meyers also took note of the Access Hollywood tape euphemism: "Why do they keep saying 'Billy Bush weekend'? It's not a holiday." He imagined if it were. Meyers also took issue with the idea that after cutting a deal with Democrats, Trump is suddenly some sort of political independent. The GOP is now firmly the party of Trump and Bannon, he said, and Hillary Clinton warned everyone last year about the secret ingredient: white nationalist resentment. Bannon "slithered out from under his rock" to make an "absurd" critique of Clinton's alt-right speech, Meyers added, playing a clip. "Of course Hillary Clinton is smarter than Donald Trump. She's a graduate of Yale Law, a former senator and secretary of state. Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure Trump thinks Frederick Douglass was in Boys II Men."

You can watch the rest of Meyers' "Closer Look," heavy on Hurricane Irma, below. Peter Weber