Trevor Noah unpacked a week of presidential news that was already full and bizarre by Monday night’s Daily Show, starting with the president’s Twitter beef with the singer John Legend and his wife, the model Chrissy Teigen.
Trump lashed out after viewing an MSNBC segment in which Legend and the host Lester Holt discussed criminal justice reform for which the president wanted credit. He tweeted: Legend “and his filthy mouthed wife, are talking now about how great it is – but I didn’t see them around when we needed help getting it passed”. Legend responded, in part: “Melania, please praise this man. He needs you.” Teigen’s response, meanwhile, was “too vulgar” to air on the news.
“Luckily, we’re not the news,” Noah said to applause. The full tweet read: “Lol what a pussy ass bitch, tagged everyone but me. An honor, mister president.”
“To be honest, I don’t know why the news can’t say that on air,” Noah joked. “It’s a well-known medical condition.”
But the fracas with the two celebrities was small potatoes compared with another beef, Noah continued. Over the weekend, Trump tweeted a surprise: he had been secretly planning, and was cancelling, a meeting with the Taliban at Camp David.
“OK, this story is wild,” Noah said. “This came out of the blue – no one knew Trump had scheduled peace talks with the Taliban. What Trump did here is like your best friend telling you he’s getting a divorce and you’re like, ‘I didn’t even know you were married.’”
Calling the Taliban at Camp David “the worst surprise in the world” for America at large – especially the weekend before the anniversary of 9/11 – Noah attempted to explain the situation. Over the past nine years, the US military has sought a peace deal with the Taliban to end the war in Afghanistan. But when Trump caught wind of a potential agreement, he demanded the talks be moved to America so there could be a Trump-flattering photo opportunity.
In sum, Noah concluded, “there’s a possibility that the war in Afghanistan will continue now because Trump has put a photo opportunity above peace – which, according to WebMD, is a classic symptom of: a pussy ass bitch.”
On the Late Show, Stephen Colbert also addressed the scrapped Taliban meeting, for which he was at a loss for words. “Donald Trump invited the Taliban to Camp David the weekend before 9/11,” he said, shaking his head. “That’s like … there’s nothing that’s like that.”
Trump didn’t go through with the secret meeting scheduled for Sunday after a bombing in Kabul, attributed to the Taliban, killed 12 people; the president asked, via tweet: “what kind of people would kill so many in order to seemingly strengthen their bargaining position?”
Colbert had a quick answer: “Uh … the Taliban? Just guessing.”
Both the vice-president, Mike Pence, and the national security adviser, John Bolton, reportedly opposed the Camp David meeting, but according to the New York Times, Trump was “taken with the idea” of shepherding a peace agreement – or, at least, being perceived to be the leader.
“So he wanted the praise for a diplomatic achievement that he didn’t achieve,” Colbert summarized. “Clearly, he’s a shoo-in for the Nobel participation prize.”
Meanwhile, Trump has been taking heat for charges of corruption, since Pence and members of the US military have recently stayed at Trump properties in Europe. “People say that as commander-in-chief, Trump is self-dealing to his own businesses,” Colbert explained. Trump’s defense, Colbert continued, basically amounted to: “Yeah, but I’m rich.”
“It’s another Monday in the Trump era, which means we all awoke to another fever dream of cruelty, stupidity and corruption,” said Seth Meyers to kick off this week’s Late Night. He then listed a catalogue of craziness – in the past few days, the president had: launched a “deranged” attack on John Legend and Chrissy Teigen on Twitter, come under House investigation for the military’s use of Trump property in Scotland, announced and scrapped a secret meeting with the Taliban at Camp David that upended months of peace talks, and mocked the former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford for once having an Argentinian mistress.
Or, as Trump phrased it on Twitter, Sanford “was found in Argentina with his Flaming Dancer friend”.
“Now we think he meant to type Flamingo Dancer, which also would have been wrong, because it’s Flamenco Dancer,” Meyers said. “Which also would’ve been wrong, because there’s no evidence that Sanford’s former mistress had ever been a flamenco dancer.
“It’s like a seven-layer dip of presidential insanity.”
Remarkably, all of this Twitter activity happened before 8am EST. “It’s hard enough to process all of this insanity in an entire day, but it’s worse when you haven’t even had your coffee yet,” Meyers lamented. “I never thought I’d say this to a president, but please sleep in!”