On Late Night, Seth Meyers checked in on what has traditionally been a source of stalwart support for Donald Trump: trucking.
The trucking industry remains a pillar of the American economy, worth over $700bn and employing more than 7 million people, “which is why Trump pandered so hard during an event with trucking industry executives at the White House” in March 2017, Meyers said. At the time, the president made soaring promises for truckers’ prosperity, donned an “I Heart Trucks” button and climbed into a semi (only to ask for directions on how to get back down).
So, Meyers said: how have truckers fared since then? Not well, according to numerous reports. Though Trump promised to a crowd of truckers in October 2017 that his tax bill would save them money, many drivers have ended up paying more in annual taxes.
“So while the tax plan lowered rates for trucking industry executives who make millions of dollars a year, it only made things worse for those actually doing the driving,” Meyers explained.
Additionally, Trump’s trade war has decreased the number of goods transported by truck, “but Trump would probably say: ‘If you think about it, that means they could just drive smaller trucks and then it would be easier to get down from them’”, Meyers joked, in reference to Trump’s confusion on climbing down from a cab.
“Thanks to Trump’s policies, truckers are forced to work more for less pay in potentially harmful conditions, and his ongoing trade wars could put thousands of truck drivers out of work entirely,” Meyers concluded. “So the best we can hope for is that truckers return the favor in 2020.”
“Every day, I wake up and I think: things can’t possibly get any worse,” Stephen Colbert said to open the Late Show. “And every day, Donald Trump says: hold my Filet-O-Fish.”
Colbert launched into a roundup of the Trump administration’s latest dispiriting policy decisions, such as the announcement that, come October, poor immigrants will be denied permanent legal status if they use government benefit programs.
“Really?” Colbert intoned. “Because I know of at least one immigrant lady who lives in really nice public housing and pretty much only works on Christmas.”
The administration attempted to defend the policy yesterday by deploying the acting director US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Ken Cuccinelli, to answer press questions. When asked why the Latino community shouldn’t feel targeted by the Latino-targeting policy, Cuccinelli said that if the same conversation were happening a hundred years ago, it would have applied to his Italian immigrant ancestors.
Colbert translated as Cuccinelli: “Luckily, we’re not having this conversation a hundred years ago, or else I wouldn’t be up here today to pull up the ladder between he and my family. Suck it, Hispanics.”
Meanwhile, Trump continued to avoid responsibility for retweeting a conspiracy theory that blamed the Clintons for financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s death this past weekend. When pressed by a reporter, Trump said the retweet wasn’t him, and regardless, the account has half a million followers and is thus “respected”.
Colbert was incredulous. “First of all, it WAS from you. A retweet is from you,” he said before assuming Trump’s voice and logic. “What? I didn’t stab you! That was somebody else’s knife! I re-stabbed you. And by the way, the guy whose knife I used? A very respected stabber.”
The threat of white supremacy has been a much discussed topic in the US lately, said Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, but “there is one person who still isn’t convinced: Fox News anchor and concerned face drawn on to a balloon Tucker Carlson”.
Last week, Carlson called white supremacy a “hoax” used to divide the country because, he claimed, there wouldn’t be enough white supremacists in America to fill a college football stadium.
“My man, most stadiums hold 100,000 people,” Noah retorted. “We shouldn’t have enough white supremacists to fill a golf cart, that’s how many we should have.”
Noah also pointed out Carlson’s double standard when it comes to terrorist threats. “Tucker Carlson only gives white terrorists this pass,” he said. “After 9/11, he wasn’t like: ‘Al Qaida? Please, what was it, like 19 people? Is this a real thing? Call me when they can sell out a Knicks game, OK?’’
Carlson’s inaccurate assertion that white supremacy is a hoax has not gone over well with everyone – three advertisers have pulled out of his show, and Carlson has gone on a previously unannounced trip to “the wilderness” to fish for brook trout with his son.
The vacation timing seemed suspicious, Noah said, but who knows? “Maybe lots of people leave for fishing vacations on Wednesday nights at 9pm. I mean, you never know when the fish are going to start biting.”