Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles the Trump Administration

Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel are pretty sure Rex Tillerson actually called Trump a 'moron,' or worse

Wednesday morning started with an NBC News report that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had called President Trump a "moron" and almost quit over the summer, and on Wednesday's Late Show, Stephen Colbert was incensed. "Hold on there, Tillerson — nobody calls our president a moron except me," Colbert said, "and other world leaders and, ultimately, history." Tillerson was apparently moved to "say such a vicious, accurate thing about his boss" because Trump sullied the Boy Scout Jamboree, Colbert sighed. But Trump, predictably, lashed out on Twitter, and Tillerson called an impromptu press conference.

Tillerson denied ever considering quitting, praised Trump's patriotism and other attributes, and ... declined to deny that he called the president a moron. "Yeah, he totally said it," Colbert said. Afterward, Trump tweeted out his vindication anyway, and demanded that NBC News apologize to America. Colbert agreed, "because apparently, Tillerson didn't call our president a moron; he called him a 'f---ing moron.'"

"If Trump is upset Rex Tillerson called him a moron, wait till he finds out what the rest of the country has been calling him," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. He also played through Tillerson's fealty tour. "This is the first administration where Cabinet secretaries regularly hold press conferences to announce they're not quitting," he said. "It usually happens just before they quit." And he reached the same conclusion as Colbert about Tillerson's non-denial: "Okay, so he definitely called him a moron." Trump and Tillerson's spokeswoman deny the "moron" dig, but "multiple news sources confirm this moron story," Kimmel said. "Obviously, this is a nightmare for the Trump administration," he added, teeing up a fake White House press briefing where a fake press secretary read a list of other rude things Tillerson didn't call Trump. Watch below. Peter Weber