‘Our Country Be Damned.’ Late-Night Hosts Keep Slamming President Trump Over Charlottesville

President Donald Trump has issued a number of statements this week attempting to clarify his stance on the white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally that went from violent to deadly in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.

His consistent defense of the white supremacists who had incited violence against counter-protesters this weekend resulted in a host of backlash from politicians, celebrities and citizens — as well as a number of business leaders who pulled their names from two presidential councils, which Trump later disbanded.

While the tragedy in Charlottesville resulted in a number of serious statements from late-night comedians this week, on Wednesday evening, the hosts jabbed Trump on a number of fronts relating to his controversial defense.

Here’s how late-night comedians have tried to make sense of it all.

Stephen Colbert

A consistent critic of the president, Colbert reviewed Trump’s differing comments on the Charlottesville —including his off-script Tuesday press conference, “where Donald let Donald be Donald, the consequences and our country be damned.” Colbert detailed Trump’s press conference, where he said some of the white supremacists marching with torches were not Nazis and that both sides were to blame for the violence.

“But you know who loved what Donald Trump said? Donald Trump,” Colbert said. “Aides say Trump was in a very good mood after the press conference and felt liberated. Liberated, free — emancipated, if you will.”

“‘Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, I’m free at last,’” Colbert said, imitating Trump. “‘You like that? Melania wrote that. She’s very good.”

James Corden

Corden chose to focus on Trump’s decision to disband his presidential councils after a number of CEOs resigned amid his defense of white supremacists. Saying Trump “can’t even manufacture manufacturing councils,” Corden jabbed the president but expressed delight at the fact that Trump did not hold another press conference Wednesday.

“The CEOs of Intel and Under Armour both resigned, which means somehow Donald Trump figured out a way to lose the nerds and the jocks at the same time,” Corden said.

“The CEO of the company 3M also resigned, and when Donald Trump asked why, they said that 3M doesn’t want to be associated with the three Ks,” he added.

Seth Meyers

Meyers, who gave a noteworthy and emotional statement on Charlottesville earlier this week, detailed how Trump’s off-script comments and Twitter account this week show the president’s true side. Specifically, Meyers focused on Trump’s impromptu press conference in Trump Tower on Tuesday, when he drew a moral equivalence between white supremacists and counter-protesters and slammed the press for their coverage of his statements.

“Look at how fragile this man’s ego is,” Meyers said. “He literally wants the TV to tell him ‘Breaking News: What Donny said is very nice. He is good boy.’”

“There are no fine people marching with Nazis and white supremacists,” Meyers responded to Trump. “No one gets accidentally caught up in a white supremacist rally.”

Jimmy Fallon

Fallon’s monologue also focused on Trump’s Tuesday press conference, in which he pointed to an image of Chief of Staff John Kelly observing it happen. Fallon then showed a montage of Trump aides and politicians standing next to the president as he spoke, showing some kind of stunned or notable reaction similar to Kelly’s.

“I guess this morning Trump went to the Trump Tower lost and found, looking for his mind,” Fallon said. “It’s crazy. I’m starting to miss the old days when we were on the verge of nuclear war with North Korea.”

Fallon also edited down Trump’s conference, to show him saying: “Frankly, I didn’t know all of the facts about being the president. I want to bring back President Obama.”

Jimmy Kimmel

Calling Tuesday “the worst day of the Trump presidency,” Kimmel commented on how Trump “couldn’t hold it in” during his comments on Charlottesville. To make sense of it all, Kimmel interviewed a puppet dressed as Kellyanne Conway to do damage control. The puppet then reads cue cards, saying that Trump’s statements were 100% true.

“We can obviously see that you’re reading,” Kimmel says.

“That’s outrageous; I’m not reading,” the Conway puppet responds. “I don’t even know how to read. If I was reading, I would be reading this: The Art of the Deal, by Donald Trump. The number one best-seller for 58 weeks.”

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‘Unsafe and Unprofessional’: Iranian Drone Flies Close to U.S. Ship for the Second Time in a Week

An Iranian drone flew in “an unsafe and unprofessional” way near a U.S. aircraft carrier in international waters on Sunday — the second time in a week such flyby has happened in a week.

The drone flew several times past the USS Nimitz as it was in international waters in the Persian Gulf, Lieutenant Ian McConnaughey, a Navy spokesperson in the Middle East, said, according to the Washington Post. The unmanned aerial vehicle came within 1,000 feet of a U.S. aircraft after the U.S. made several radio calls to it, he said.

The Iranian UAV, McConnaughey said, “created a dangerous situation with the potential for collision, and is not in keeping with international maritime customs and laws,” McConnaughey said, according to the Post. A representative for the USS Nimitz did not immediately respond to request for comment.

A similar incident occurred when an Iranian QOM-1 drone nearly collided with an aircraft as it approached the Nimitz, the Navy said on Aug. 8. Similarly, the U.S. attempted to establish communication with the drone before it came within 100 feet of the F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft. The maneuvers made by the drone were also described by the Navy as “unsafe and unprofessional,” as well as “dangerous.”

There have now been 14 circumstances in 2017 in which unsafe interactions between the U.S. and Iranian maritime forces have occurred, the Navy said.

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The Weekend Brief: Deadly White Supremacist Rally, Fired Google Engineer’s Defense, Winning Mega Millions Ticket

Here are the top stories from this weekend:

White Supremacist Rally Turns Deadly

White supremacists and neo-Nazis gathered in Charlottesville, Va. over the weekend, where a violent rally turned deadly as a car drove directly into a crowd of anti-racist protesters, killing one woman and injuring 19 others. Shortly after, a police helicopter assisting in law enforcement efforts crashed and killed two officers onboard. President Donald Trump did not immediately condemn the white supremacists and has instead criticized violence “on many sides.”

Fired Google Engineer Defends Controversial Memo

The former Google employee who was fired after writing an internal memo, which alleged biological differences between men and women that prevent gender equality in the tech industry, defended his actions in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal. James Damore said he thought his memo included a “well-researched, good-faith argument” and denounced Google as an “ideological echo chamber.”

Winning Mega Millions Ticket Sold at BBQ Restaurant

A suburban Chicago barbecue restaurant sold the winning $393 million ticket, the Illinois Lottery said on Saturday. The Mega Millions jackpot was the largest in the state’s history and the fifth largest Mega Millions grand prize.

Also:

President Trump warned North Korea’s Kim Jong Un that he “will regret it fast” if he takes action against the U.S. or any of its allies.

White House official Omarosa Manigault-Newman clashed with reporters during a tense panel at a conference for the National Association of Black Journalists in New Orleans.

Tom Cruise was possibly injured while performing a stunt while filming Mission: Impossible 6.

Bitcoin reached another all-time high of over $4,000 — continuing a sustained rally that begin in December.

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Charlottesville Victim’s Mother: I Want Her Death to be ‘a Rallying Cry for Justice’

The mother of the woman who was killed while protesting a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. this weekend said her daughter was a passionate activist who wished to bring an end to injustice.

Heather Heyer’s mother, Susan Bro, said her daughter’s tragic death should be used as “a rallying cry for justice.”

“Heather was not about hate, Heather was about stopping hatred,” Bro said in an interview with the Huffington Post. “Heather was about bringing an end to injustice. I don’t want her death to be a focus for more hatred, I want her death to be a rallying cry for justice and equality and fairness and compassion.”

Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal, was killed when a man drove his car directly into a group of counter-protesters. Police identified James Alex Fields Jr. as the alleged driver, and he is currently facing numerous charges including second-degree murder.

“She always had a very strong sense of right and wrong, she always, even as a child, was very caught up in what she believed to be fair,” Bro said in another interview with the Huffington Post. “Somehow I almost feel that this is what she was born to be, is a focal point for change. I’m proud that what she was doing was peaceful, she wasn’t there fighting with people.”

During a speech at a church in Charlottesville Sunday morning, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe honored Heyer in front of the congregation. He also posted a photo of her on Twitter, where he said she “died standing up against hate & bigotry.”

Federal law enforcement are now conducting a civil rights investigation into the horrific incident, which has been called an act of domestic terrorism by a number of politicians and Charlottesville officials. The incident injured at least 19 others.

Two Virginia officers were also killed Saturday when their helicopter crashed as they assisted law enforcement efforts at the rally.

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President Trump Calls Democrats and the Media His ‘Enemies’ in New Campaign Ad

A new ad from President Donald Trump’s campaign that decries Democrats, the media and career politicians as his “opponents” and “enemies” — and some are criticizing it for what they say is tone-deaf timing.

The targeted ad ran just a day after the president called for unity following what he said was violence and bigotry “on many sides” when a deadly white supremacist rally broke out in Charlottesville, Va., over the removal of a Confederate monument.

The ad accuses Democrats and the media of “standing in the way” of Trump’s policies, which are portrayed as widely supported Americans. But while Trump has maintained much of his base support, he has also had consistently low approval rating throughout his presidency. Last week, his approval rating hit 37%, according to Gallup.

The ad specifically points to achievements like job creation, military power and a record-high Dow industrial average.

However, some people on social media have questioned the timing of such an ad that uses stronger language against Democrats and the media than Trump used against white supremacists and neo-Nazis on Saturday.

As white supremacists carried flags with swastikas and waved Confederate flags in Charlottesville on Saturday, a man drove a car directly into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring at least 19 others. Additionally, a Virginia State Police helicopter crashed while assisting law enforcement efforts during the rally, killing two troopers.

While many Republican and Democratic politicians called the violence incited by the white supremacists domestic terrorism and denounced Nazism, Trump spoke out against what he saw as “this display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” Politicians on both sides of the aisle urged Trump to make a more direct statement targeting white supremacy and Nazism.

As presidents typically fill the role of uplifting a nation with unifying remarks after tragedy strikes, Trump’s comments on the violent rally were especially scrutinized since some of the white supremacists who attended wore red “Make America Great Again” hats and claimed to be promoting Trump’s agenda.

In light of the criticism, the White House released an additional statement Sunday. “The President said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred and of course that includes white Supremacists, KKK, neo-nazi and all extremist groups,” a White House spokesperson said. “He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together.”

 

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