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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”