Late Night Tackles Trump Abroad
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

November 10, 2017

China and its president, Xi Jinping, pulled out all the stops to pamper and flatter President Trump during his visit, presumably to get an upper hand in negotiations. "You might be watching this whole trip and thinking, 'Come on, man, the Chinese are so dumb,'" Trevor Noah said on Thursday's Daily Show. "You can't play Trump. He is the Art of the Deal, he's not going to watch your little show and all of a sudden by like, 'You know what? I don't blame China.'" Which, of course, is exactly what Trump said, adding that he gives "China great credit" for "taking advantage" of America. "Wow," Noah said. "I never thought I'd hear an American president tell his geopolitical adversary, 'Well played, guys, we had it coming.'"

"Look, if you're a Trump supporter, him letting China off the hook probably doesn't make you feel great," Noah said. "But if he really is your guy, you should also be happy that he found love." If you're not convinced, The Daily Show put Xi and Trump's heads on Bachelor contestants and let Trump speak his heart.

"If I'm not mistaken — and I don't think I am — somebody has a bit of a man crush on Xi Jinping," Stephen Colbert concurred on Thursday's Late Show. He showed some of the pomp Trump was treated to, including a greeting "by his biggest fans, totally non-staged adoring Chinese children. 'Thank you, thank you, you are all so good at making my hats.'"

In his trade talks with China, Trump "played his cards close to his chest — and immediately folded," Colbert said, playing the clip of Trump not blaming China. He slipped into Trump voice: "I don't blame China. Like everything else, I blame President Hillary Clinton — she has got to go." Watch below. Peter Weber

November 7, 2017

President Trump "is on a 13-day trip through Asia — Fox & Friends has one less viewer," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. But Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has gone out of his way to claim Trump as a friend, treating him to matching Trump-inspired baseball hats, feeding koi with him, and hosting him for a round of golf. "All right, Shinzo, leave a few of the strokes on the golf course," Colbert said, after playing Abe's post-golf remarks. Trump, for his part, wanted to know why "a country of samurai warriors" like Japan did not shoot down North Korean missiles flying over head, Colbert noted, wryly suggesting some other Japanese characters who might be better suited for the job.

"I don't know what's worse — that Trump still thinks Japan has samurai, or that he thinks samurai warriors were trained in missile defense," Trevor Noah sighed on The Daily Show. "Poor Japan, man. Once again they have to deal with an out-of-control monster with tiny hands." Noah explained why Japan needs Trump, had a chuckle at the matching hats, compared Trump to a tourist who only eats at McDonald's, and grimaced at Trump's comments about dominating Japan economically. "You know, someone should tell Donald Trump to always stop speaking after his first sentence, because every time, that's where it goes wrong," he said, with examples.

But this is a 13-day trip, Noah said, and now Trump "heads to South Korea, where he will probably shove chopsticks up his nose and pretend that he's a walrus."

While Trump is still in Japan, The Late Show dipped into Japanese exports, too, with a short cartoon about Trump vs. Pokemon. You can watch that below. Peter Weber

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