Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Trump versus reality

Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah admire Trump's empty Mexico tariff theatrics

President Trump spent the weekend hailing a deal in which Mexico agreed to stanch the flow of immigrants to the U.S. in return for Trump not imposing tariffs he had threatened to levy on all Mexican goods. "So, according to Donald Trump, Donald Trump was the hero, saving the world's economy from the clutches of that maniac Donald Trump," Stephen Colbert recapped on Monday's Late Show. Then it emerged that the deal wasn't new — "the threats of tariffs, the negotiations, the deal itself were all fake. It was like some sort of theater, in this case The Lyin' King."

But if Mexico had agreed to these border actions months ago, why negotiate? Presumably to save presidential face, Colbert said, "and anyone on Trump's makeup team knows that's not an easy task." Facing criticism, Trump evidently made up imaginary agricultural side agreements with Mexico then whined that he never gets any credit. Colbert was sympathetic: "It's true, Trump gets no credit — that's why he had to borrow the money from the Russians."

Trump averting his own crisis is "what I love about this guy," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "Anyone can be a good guy, anyone can be a bad guy, not everyone can be both. He's Bruce Willis and the guys who have taken the building hostage, that's who he is! He's the kind of guy who starts the timer on the bomb, then turns around and is like: 'Jesus! This sicko only gave us 3 minutes!'"

Trump probably canceled his tariffs, despite Mexico agreeing to nothing new, because "things at home were getting muy caliente," Noah explained: "Trump was threatening Mexico, and Mexico was in turn threatening U.S. businesses, and then U.S. businesses were threatening the GOP, and the GOP was threatening Trump. Damn, he was always going to lose this! You never get into a Mexican standoff with actual Mexicans — it's too risky." He ended with an R&B-inspired admiration for Trump's claim of a secret side deal. Watch below. Peter Weber