Speed Reads

Late night tackles the 2020 debates

Late night hosts have a pretty good idea why Trump shockingly refuses to condemn white supremacists

"The heat's on Donald Trump" after last night's "We Miss America pageant" in Cleveland, Jimmy Kimmel said on Wednesday's Kimmel Live. "There were quite a few TV news people who were like, 'I've never seen anything like this,'" he shrugged, but "I've been seeing this almost every day for about four years now."

"Maybe the most egregious lie Trump told is when he said Joe Biden played more golf than he does — Phil Mickelson doesn't play more golf than he does," Kimmel said. "Trump attacked Biden's family" and "refused to commit to accepting the results of the election," but his lowest moment was "when specifically asked to condemn white supremacy, he wouldn't."

"The only thing he avoids more than condemning white supremacists is paying taxes," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "If you see someone making the same 'mistake' over and over again, at some point you have to accept that it's not a mistake, it's their belief."

"Telling white supremacists to 'stand down' and telling them to 'stand by' are not the same thing," Noah said. "The Proud Boys liked Donald Trump's answer so much that they're even adopting it as their new slogan. And that might actually piss off Trump, because the one thing he definitely believes in is getting royalties." Also, "I'd be careful if I were the Proud Boys," he added, "because if there's one thing we know about Donald Trump, it's that once he invests in you, you have about five years until you go bankrupt."

Yes, "the president's choice of words was so inspiring to these racist numbskulls that today the Proud Boys started selling merch with their new catch phrase," Stephen Colbert said at The Late Show. But evidently, "siding with a violent hate group doesn't poll well with suburban women," so Trump claimed he doesn't know the Proud Boys.

"'Stand back and stand by' is a horrifying thing to say to a group of white supremacists, Samantha Bee joked on Full Frontal, "even more horrifying than when Trump yells it out to the Secret Service as he's waging war on the Air Force One bathroom."

Trump telling white supremacists to "stand by" is just part of his effort "to undermine the election and threaten violence if he loses," Seth Meyers said at Late Night. "He doesn't want to win the election, he wants to destroy the election — just like he destroyed the debate." Watch below. Peter Weber