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Late Night Tackles Trump Abroad
June 7, 2019

Thursday was the 75th anniversary of D-Day, "when we beat the Nazis once and for ... until very recently," Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show. "President Trump was in Normandy to commemorate the occasion, and he gave a speech that was by all accounts — and I hope I'm pronouncing this correctly — 'presidential.' Haven't seen that word in a while. That all came to a screeching halt once he wasn't reading somebody else's words." He ran through Trump's comments at a press conference after the ceremony.

"The president is, of course, facing his own battles back home," Colbert said, pointing to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's reported comment to her top lieutenants about Trump: "I don't want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison." Okay, Colbert said, "but why do we have to choose?" Still, Republicans are getting restive, too, flirting with quashing Trump's tariffs on all Mexican goods. "Oh, really? Flirting?" he asked, laughing. "Flirting with rebellion? That could lead to a dalliance with integrity, maybe making eyes with governance, and then at the Christmas party, a drunken hookup with defending the Constitution."

Seriously, the pending tax on Mexican imports is a bad idea, Colbert said. "Everyone is going to feel these tariffs. Our top four agricultural imports from Mexico are beer, avocados, tomatoes, and tequila. Trump is putting a tariff on summer!" But rumors that Republicans might actually do something about it "were shoved into a shallow grave" by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who's hoping Mexico works this out with Trump, he said. "In other words, McConnell wants the Mexicans to do the jobs American politicians won't do." Watch below. Peter Weber

June 6, 2019

On Day 3 of President Trump's overseas tour, he left London for a D-Day commemoration in Portsmouth, then left Portsmouth for Ireland. "Haven't my people suffered enough?" Stephen Colbert asked on Wednesday's Late Show. Right after landing in Ireland, Trump met with Irish leader Leo Varadkar, "and I mean right after landing, because instead of meeting at a castle, like the Irish government suggested, Trump greeted our ally in the VIP lounge at Shannon Airport," Colbert said. "Oh, the grandeur."

Colbert then recapped Trump's "mandatory exit interview" from Britain with Piers Morgan, who "began by complimenting Trump's behavior around the royal family." He sighed: "Is this how far we've sunk? We're complimenting the president on being well behaved, like he's a dog?" After asking about Trump time with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, climate change, and Vietnam, Morgan "finished up with the hardest-hitting topic of all: hats," Colbert said, and that actually provided "the interview's finest moment."

If you don't like something, fix it — and that's what Colbert did with Morgan's interview, in a submarine, no less.

At The Daily Show, Trevor Noah opted to focus on Trump's British doppelgänger, "the man many have dubbed the Donald Trump of the U.K." (though with more clever insults) and Noah called "midlife crisis Malfoy" — Boris Johnson. Noah's get-to-know-you primer on the man who may be Britain's next prime minister is as entertaining as Johnson himself. Watch below. Peter Weber

June 5, 2019

Tuesday was Day 2 of President Trump's state visit to Britain, and on Monday night, "the world's cutest White Walker, her majesty the queen, hosted an official state dinner in honor of Trump's favorite thing: himself," Trevor Noah said on Tuesday's Late Show. Trump apparently broke protocol by touching Queen Elizabeth's back, and Noah shrugged. "Look, I don't think Trump touching the queen was offensive," he said. "What was offensive was Trump's outfit for the big dinner. I mean, people, what's with this tuxedo? How can a man have access to the nuclear codes but not a tailor?"

Meanwhile, "a whole different kind of party" took place in London on Tuesday, with "tens of thousands protesting Trump, and this was in the rain," Noah said. "Man, British protesters are no joke." They were trying to make Trump feel unwelcome, he added, "but for Trump, protests are like Eric: He just pretends they don't exist." Trump said at a press conference there were only "very small" protests and large groups of Britons cheering him on, but neither of those was true, Noah said. "Like, how does Trump always get this wrong? First his inauguration and now this? It's almost like Trump is dyslexic, but just for crowd sizes, and also for words."

Yes, "when it came to the protests, the president stressed one important point: That there were no protests," Stephen Colbert said at The Late Show. "Fake boos!" he added in his Trump voice. But there were actually protests in 14 cities across Britain, and after making up a bunch of fake names, Colbert noted that "in the I-can't-believe-it's-not-made-up town of Bishop's Stortford, a teen mowed a giant penis into a field for Trump to see as he landed in London." He tacked on a not-very-family-friendly joke.

The Late Show asked some questions at Trump's London press conference, and got the answers it wanted. Watch below. Peter Weber

June 4, 2019

President Trump landed in London Monday for a state visit, Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show, and it hasn't gone all that smoothly. He imagined Trump's inappropriate interactions with Prince Charles during an afternoon tea, dragging in Moby and Natalie Portman; annotated Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump "haunting" Buckingham Palace; and raised his eyebrows at Britain's odd excuse for why Trump isn't invited to stay in Buckingham Palace like past presidents.

Colbert recapped the one-sided "international catfight" Trump picked with Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, noting that "it's not exactly etiquette to call a member of the royal family 'nasty,'" though his own joke about Queen Elizabeth's gift for Trump, a first-edition copy of Sir Winston Churchill's book on World War II, maybe went a little too far.

"That's right, the queen's gift for Donald Trump was a book," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "Either she doesn't know Trump, or she's trolling him. Why would you give Donald Trump a book? Everyone knows the man doesn't read." In fact, "I wouldn't be shocked if the queen was actually trolling Donald Trump," he said, given his "nasty" Markle comment, insults for London Mayor Sadiq Khan, and meddling in the Brexit debate and leadership contest — though he found Trump's love of potential prime minister Boris Johnson unsurprising. "I've never seen two people who both look like failed clones of each other."

All this probably "explains why the British haven't exactly rolled out the red carpet," Noah said, highlighting the lack of invitation to state at the palace. "Really? Really?! All 52 bedrooms in Buckingham Palace are being renovated at the same time? All of them? Come on, man!"

Conan O'Brien added some dialogue from Queen Elizabeth showing Trump royal grounds, and yes, there is a book joke.

The Late Show also imagined Trump's special menu for the state banquet. Watch below. Peter Weber

May 29, 2019

Since ancient times, Japan "has endured many bizarre creatures coming in and wreaking havoc all over their country, and this weekend it happened again, when President Trump landed in Tokyo to meet with Japan's prime minister," Trevor Noah joked on Tuesday's Daily Show. And Shinzo Abe continued his Trump-specific charm offensive: "Golf and cheeseburgers — the classic Japanese cultural experience."

"Japan actually was successful in getting President Trump to delay his tariffs, and they agreed on new terms — but when it came presenting a unified front against North Korea, it looks like a double cheeseburger just wasn't enough," Noah said. "Not only was Trump not standing up against Kim Jong Un. No, he took it to the next level: He teamed up with the Pillsbury dictator to fight the real enemy, the Democrats."

"Look, I know we've gotten used to Trump being friendly with dictators, but you have to admit, this is on a whole different level," Noah said. "Taking sides with Kim Jong Un against Joe Biden? Like, I don't like to do the whole 'Can you imagine if Obama did this?' thing, but can you imagine if Obama did this?" He imagined it.

"The trip was a success — in that we are not now currently at war with Japan as a result of it," Jimmy Kimmel said on Tuesday's Kimmel Live. "But it was interesting to see him there because just a few years back on Memorial Day weekend, when he was not president, he tweeted: 'Does President Obama ever discuss the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor while he's in Japan? Thousands of American lives lost.' Needless to say, Trump opted not to bring it up either while he was there."

After Trump siding "with a murderous dictator over a former American vice president" caused an uproar, Kimmel said, Trump defended himself Tuesday in a "completely insane" tweet that at least managed to spell "Biden" right. Watch below. Peter Weber

July 13, 2018

President Trump is in Britain, and the U.S. State Department warned Americans in London to keep a low profile to avoid trouble from the large anti-Trump protests. Thursday's Late Show offered some tips for blending in:

Regardless of protests, Trump will have tea with Queen Elizabeth II on Friday, and Stephen Colbert imagined how that might go: "You know, Your Majesty, I was watching The Crown on Netflix. I've got to say, you used to be smoking hot. I mean, like an 8 — 9, metric." Trump started out Thursday in Brussels, forcing an emergency session of world leaders by reportedly threatening to withdraw America from NATO if NATO countries didn't increase their defense spending. One attendee said in that meeting, Trump spouted "a stream of incoherent sentences" and "the allies looked the other way as when the old uncle gets nuts." Colbert found that unfair to old uncles. "Trump's more like old angry guy yelling at bus stop wearing grocery bag as pants."

Still, Trump declared victory and claimed that NATO had agreed to unheard-of increases in defense spending. "Getting the NATO countries to agree to more spending is an accomplishment, and I never thought I'd be standing here saying the president did a good job," Colbert said, "and I'm not, because Trump's claim is false. Nobody agreed to spend more than the previously agreed-upon 2 percent target. He's taking a victory lap for stuff that was already going to happen!"

Trump went on to say there's nothing he can do if Russian President Vladimir Putin denies meddling in America's election of Trump — Colbert disagreed — and called Putin a "competitor" but not a "friend" because "I don't know him well enough," and Colbert found that plausible. "Makes sense," he deadpanned. "It's really hard to become friends with your boss." Watch below. Peter Weber

July 12, 2018

Wednesday's Late Show began with a reasonably plausible re-enactment of Germany's reaction to President Trump saying Germany is captive to Russia.

Stephen Colbert had a similar reaction in his monologue, before moving on to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's follow-up visit to Kim Jong Un in North Korea. By most accounts, it did not go well. "I'm not surprised, sometimes the second date is rough," Colbert said. "You go back to his place, you find out it's full of executed relatives or, worse, Limp Bizkit CDs." The summit started off badly, with Pompeo put up not at the luxury hotel he expected but a gated guest house behind the mausoleum where Kim's father and grandfather lie embalmed — "or as Airbnb described it, 'Cozy bungalow. Quiet neighbors. Great view of dictator courses,'" Colbert joked. Then, Kim stood Pompeo up to visit a potato farm. "And the saddest part of all of this is that Donald Trump is president," he said, "but also sad, Mike Pompeo had a gift for Kim that he never got to deliver." Not to worry — Trump says he'll hand-deliver that Elton John CD to Kim himself.

Finally, Colbert caught up with Trump's hiring of former Fox News co-president Bill Shine, briefly explaining why Shine was forced out at Fox News, his apparent side-job to push out White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, and the controversies surrounding Shine's wife. "So in conclusion, Donald Trump just hired a man who had to resign in shame from his last job for aiding a sexual abuser and is married to a bigot who's weirdly obsessed with racial slurs and faux-ginas," Colbert said. "They'll fit right in." Watch below. Peter Weber

July 12, 2018

Wednesday was President Trump's first full day of a week-long trip to Europe, "and so far the trip is going," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "The bumpy ride started at a breakfast with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg," he said, pointing out that Trump "chugged his orange juice" before anyone else — oh, and said "Germany is totally controlled by Russia." Colbert tried out some other ways Trump may have projected his own demons onto Angela Merkel, then knuckled down on Trump's salvo. "Trump claims Germany is controlled by Russia because 35 percent of their natural gas comes from Russia," he said. "It's true, we're all controlled by the people who give us our gas, which is why I'm forever beholden to the Chevron on Route 3. When they invaded the Pizza Hut next door, I said nothing — what could I do?"

"Now, I'm not ready to say that our president is a Russian agent, but I have an agent, and he doesn't do as much for me as Trump does for Russia," Colbert said. "I love you baby doll, but you never swung an election for me, okay? I lost to John Oliver." Even Fox News' political editor thinks Trump is going out of his way to help Putin, colorfully, he noted.

Then Colbert took a second to "get real": "Look, if you like the president, if you don't like the president, it don't matter. We all know what's going on here: Trump is trying to weaken the EU and weaken NATO and break up the European alliance, which is exactly what Russia wants. This is not a theory — this is happening in public. What we don't know is why." He offered some theories, some slightly more plausible than the others. Watch below. Peter Weber

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