Late Night Tackles Trump versus the World
March 20, 2019

President Trump is both modestly bragging about donating his $400,000 salary to the Homeland Security Department and proposing to strip $5 billion from the DHS budget, Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. "So Trump's paycheck donation is like robbing a restaurant then, on your way out, throwing a nickel in the tip jar."

Trump "gets paid nothing to be president, and today he earned every penny," Colbert continued. On Tuesday, Trump hosted Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, "often called the 'Trump of the Tropics,' which is also what Trump will be called when his climate policies turn Ohio into a rain forest." Colbert scratched his head over Trump's ad-lib at a joint press conference about socialism's "twilight hour" and chuckled at his suggestion that Brazil join NATO.

Yes, "why isn't Brazil in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?" Colbert pondered in Trump voice. "And, while I've got them on the phone, I'm going to ask why aren't I in the NAACP?" Watch below. Peter Weber

December 6, 2018

Former President George H.W. Bush was memorialized at Washington's National Cathedral on Wednesday, and everybody was there. "It was quite a moving sight to see the presidents and the first ladies in the front row, waiting to honor President Bush, chatting comfortably with one another — until Trump showed up, then it became silent staring time," Stephen Colbert narrated on The Late Show. "Donald Trump is the only person in the world who can bring down a funeral. Then came the point in the ceremony where the priest and the congregation read the Apostles' Creed — see if you can spot the odd person out in this clip." (Spoiler: It was Trump)

"Trump was famously not invited to former first lady Barbara Bush's funeral, but he was welcome today, after the Bush family promised Trump that the funeral would avoid criticizing him," Colbert said. "They even assured him that the choir would drown out the sound of other ex-presidents rolling in their graves." Still, every mention of Bush's integrity and kindness was an implicit rebuke to Trump, he added. "As soon as you start praising someone's honesty, you're automatically throwing shade at Donald Trump. I mean, Obama made Trump seem like a bad president just by sitting next to him."

Yes, Bush's funeral "was a time of reflection, remembrance, and uncomfortable seating arrangements," Dulcé Sloan said on Wednesday's Daily Show. "That funeral was so awkward, and that was before Trump started roasting everybody." He didn't in real life, but on The Daily Show, Trump really let loose.

Sloan and mute host Trevor Noah also had some jokes on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's heavily redacted memo on Michael Flynn. "That thing's more blacked-out than Brett Kavanaugh on a school night," Sloan quipped. Noah joined in, using an app: "This document is so black, some white lady is going to call the cops on it." Watch below. Peter Weber

December 4, 2018

President Trump "was at the G-20 summit over the weekend, as he faced his most serious legal threat yet from the Russia investigation," Seth Meyers said on Monday's Late Night, noting this isn't the first time Trump traveled abroad "under a cloud of suspicion." He compared Trump to "a guy who goes on a date and tries to ignore the fact that his ankle bracelet is beeping like crazy," adding that the "increasingly damning" revelations from the Russia investigation have always made Trump's relationships with other world leaders "super awkward."

"Trump is desperate to socialize at these things, but he's so bad at it," Meyers said, showing a cold reception from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Trump wandering off during a photo shoot with Argentina's president, Mauricio Macri. "I've had better luck getting my dog to take a Christmas photo in her Santa hat," he joked. And Trump had to cancel his meeting with the one leader he seems comfortable with, Russia's Vladimir Putin, following revelations his lawyer Michael Cohen was negotiating to build a Trump Tower Moscow deep into the presidential campaign. This "damning development in the investigation" probably explains why Trump is "freaking out," Meyers suggested, running through Monday's "angry tirade" on Twitter.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel highlighted a different part of Trump's treaty-signing ceremony with Trudeau and Mexico's president, in which Trump took an awkwardly long time signing his name. "Now, keep in mind, he has 12 letters in his name, Donald J. Trump — it's not Enrique Peña Nieto," Kimmel said. He also was amused by Trump wandering away from Argentina's Macri. "The president has a habit of doing that sort of thing," he added. "He carries himself like a demented grandfather who accidentally wandered into a wedding ceremony." Kimmel showed some examples of Trump ambling away, then ended with an imagined roast of Trump by Macri. Watch below. Peter Weber

November 14, 2018

"Here we are once again: Trump wants to fire somebody," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. "But in a refreshing change of pace, it's not Donald, because today we found out that in a stunning move, first lady Melania Trump is calling for the firing of Deputy National Security Adviser Mira Ricardel. I assume Melania's doing it with her traditional goodbye gift, a jacket that says 'U Don't Really Work Here Anymore, Do U?'"

The first lady's office apparently believes Ricardel has been leaking negative stories about her, but "this story has unearthed some juicy behind-the-scenes details about the first lady's relationship with Chief of Staff John Kelly," including getting President Trump to yell at Kelly for not approving her promotion of staff members.

His wife's veering into Trump's "you're fired!" lane and Democrat Senator-elect Kyrsten Sinema's historic win in Arizona are "just the latest in a very bad week for the president — case in point, North Korea," Colbert said. Trump has been saying for months that he solved North Korea's nuclear crisis, "but somebody didn't get the memo that North Korea wasn't a threat anymore, and that somebody was Kim Jong Un," who is moving ahead with his ballistic missiles program at 16 hidden bases.

Trump responded to that and other embarrassing news with an active day on Twitter, and Colbert read and commented on the tweets — disputing Kim's missiles, defending his widely mocked decision to skip a World War I memorial in France due to rain, and several attacks on French President Emmanuel Macron, one of which included a threat to raise tariffs on French wines. "Aren't you losing support with suburban white women?" Colbert asked. "Maybe now's not the time to come after wine. What's next? Banning book clubs and Nancy Meyers movies?" Watch below. Peter Weber

November 13, 2018

When President Trump visited France over the weekend to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, "once again, Trump was very chummy with [Vladimir] Putin," Jimmy Kimmel said on Monday's Kimmel Live. "This is his face when his Sugar Vladdy showed up. I have to say, I've studied him, I've only seen that dopey grin on his face one other time, and that was when the Colonel came to visit." He did a play-by-play of Trump greeting Putin.

And "that was not the bigliest embarrassment in Paris," Kimmel said, turning to Trump's skipping a memorial service at an American cemetery on Saturday because it was raining. "Bottom line: He missed the memorial because he didn't want his hair to get wet." He showed an artist's rendering of Trump's hair after a downpour, and also Trump's actual reaction to French President Emmanuel Macron's thrashing of nationalism, an ideology Trump has famously embraced.

The Late Show, like Macron, mocked Trump in French.

"It turns out, though, the whole thing was a big misunderstanding," Jimmy Fallon joked at The Tonight Show. "When someone told Trump it's stormy outside, he said, 'I already paid her, what more does she want?' A lot of people are speaking out about Trump's decision to cancel a trip to an American military cemetery because it was raining. Joining us now with his own thoughts is former President Barack Obama." Fallon's Obama impersonator was also unimpressed with Trump's ombrophobia.

"I heard that during his trip, a topless female protester ran in front of Trump's motorcade," Fallon continued. "One Secret Service agent tackled her so she couldn't get to Trump, while another tackled Trump so he couldn't get to her." He also poked fun at Trump's grin when Putin arrived. "Actually Putin showed up to the event late," Fallon said. "He was like, 'Forgive me, I was overseeing recount in Florida.'" Watch below. Peter Weber

November 13, 2018

"This last week has not been a good one for the president," Trevor Noah said on Monday's Daily Show, comparing President Trump's two years in office to "airplane WiFi — there are moments when it seems to be working but most of the time it's complete trash." Trump's bad week began on Wednesday, when he replaced "his house elf" Jeff Sessions with an acting attorney general so unqualified Trump blatantly lied about not knowing him. "You know, sometimes Trump lies so hard he gives my brain whiplash," Noah said. "He's like Newton's third law: For every Trump there is an equal and opposite Trump."

Trump also got blowback for lying about the cause of California's wildfires. "But he had a chance to put all of this behind him in France, where the president traveled to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War I," Noah said. "All he had to do was show up for a ceremony at an American cemetery to honor the World War I troops. Super easy — but apparently, not easy enough." He canceled, citing the rain. "So the president's helicopter can't fly in the rain?" Noah asked. "What, does the helicopter have to keep its hair dry, too?"

"Well, you can't blame him — he's only got one umbrella, and he couldn't figure out how to bring it on the plane," Stephen Colbert joked at The Late Show. "Trump did attend the ceremonies yesterday, but the other leaders said mean things," like French President Emmanuel Macron, who criticized nationalism as a betrayal of patriotism. "I just want to point out that a man gave a speech about the importance of moral values, and everyone assumes he was insulting our president," Colbert said.

Colbert also savaged Trump for his "blame the victim" response to the California fires. This includes a terrible Axl Rose impersonation. Watch below. Peter Weber

September 26, 2018

President Trump was so late to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, his speech was bumped back a slot. "Once he actually made it to the U.N., he jumped right into his favorite talking point, himself," a newly beardless Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. The audience of diplomats and world leaders found that topic unintentionally hilarious. "Don't worry, Mr. President, they're not laughing at you," Colbert said. "They're laughing with each other at you."

"After explaining to the countries of the world that America would leave them alone, he started picking on them," Colbert said, playing some examples. "He's working the room like an insult comic. 'Hey, check out Italy over here — hey, you're not fooling anybody with that big boot. Gambia, Gambia, we all know their national motto: Where the hell is Gambia?'" Trump wasn't mean to everyone, though, he noted: "I can't believe the only guy he praised was Kim Jong Un. Putin is gonna be jealous."

Colbert compared the American president's main message — "Trump appeared before the United Nations to reject the premise of nations uniting," he summarized — to a wedding toast, delivered in Trump voice: "Congratulations to Mike and Diane on their wedding. We believe the institution of marriage is a sham, we reject the ideology of monogamy. Diane, when Mike gets fat, call me.'" Watch below. Peter Weber

August 14, 2018

"We know that diplomacy isn't President Trump's 'thing,'" Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show, but neither, apparently, is geography or the concept of time zones. That means, according to a former National Security Council official, Trump wants to call world leaders at all hours, not grasping that noon in Washington is 1 a.m. in Tokyo. And when he finally learned that Bhutan and Nepal were the "stuff" between India and China, "Trump referred to Bhutan as 'button' and mispronounced Nepal as 'nipple,'" Colbert said, laughing. "Then, word is, he then touched the map without its consent."

Trump looks at these mistakes as just doing things his way, according to one aide. "But it is important that the most powerful man in the world knows what countries are in that world," Colbert said, "so tonight we're here to help." He brought out a world map and tried to rename the world in a way he thought Trump might remember. And he didn't even have to change the name Djibouti. Watch below. Peter Weber

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