Speed Reads

Late Night Tackle Trump and Corruption

Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers are bemused Trump keeps defending his G7 'bald self-dealing'

Stephen Colbert's Late Show and Late Night with Seth Meyers were both on break last week, but President Trump gave them entrée into last week's series of unfortunate events with an off-the-rails televised Cabinet meeting Monday. During the long exchange with reporters — "71 minutes isn't a press conference, that's a one-man show," Colbert said Monday — Trump defended his aborted decision to host next year's G7 summit at his own golf resort near Miami.

"Wow, taxpayer money being spent at his own place, that is bald self-dealing — I mean, you'd have to be an idiot to defend that," Colbert said. But aside from Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-S.D.) and a handful of his GOP colleagues, "most Republicans freaked out, ran for cover, changed their names, and filed off their fingerprints." So Trump reversed himself Saturday but "continued to defend the thing he's not gonna do" during Monday's meeting, Colbert said. "Trump finally stropped talking about his resort and addressed the most important issue of the day: just how great he is," before arguing "he should have been allowed to violate the Constitution because he claimed other presidents had."

Trump's meltdown Monday came "after his White House basically confessed to multiple corrupt abuses of power" last week, Meyers said. The chief confessor, acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, first "brazenly announce that the president would enrich himself by hosting an official event at his own golf course," and after Trump reversed himself, "Mulvaney had to go on the Sunday shows to explain why Trump was so wounded by all the backlash." Instead, he said Trump thinks he's still in the "hospitality business."

"This is such a key confession from Mulvaney because it explains so much," Meyers said: "Trump still sees himself as the corrupt real estate mogul and reality star who always got away with whatever he wanted, rather than a government official who's bound to the rule of law. That's the Trump we saw on that infamous phone call with the president of Ukraine, and during his press conference on Thursday, Mulvaney literally admitted that they held up the aid to Ukraine as part of a quid pro quo to investigate the Democrats." Watch below. Peter Weber