For Stephen Colbert, only “one big story” came out of Wednesday’s news cycle.
“America’s stepdaddy is angry,” the late-night host quipped on CBS.
For about 12 minutes Wednesday morning, anyone tuned into a major TV network saw an irked President Trump in the Rose Garden delivering what The Washington Post’s Anne Gearan described as “the live-action movie version” of his Twitter feed.
Or, as Colbert put it, “Trump walked out the door straight to the Rose Garden for a nationally televised hissy fit.”
The unscheduled news conference came just moments after Trump stormed out of a planned White House meeting intended to discuss a $2 trillion infrastructure deal, angered by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who had spoken to reporters earlier in the day and accused him of being “engaged in a coverup.” In the Rose Garden, Trump said he told Democratic lawmakers that while he wanted “to do infrastructure,” he would not work with them unless they “get these phony investigations over with.”
“Trump has a clear stance on infrastructure,” Colbert said on his show. “It’s my way or no highways.”
Colbert wasn’t the only late-night host to dig into the president’s lengthy remarks, during which he touted himself as “the most transparent president, probably, in the history of this country” and addressed impeachment, only referring to it as the “I-word.” Fellow TV comics Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and James Corden all dedicated time to poking fun at the news conference and the events surrounding it.
As the jokes flowed late Wednesday night, it appeared that the day’s events were also still on Trump’s mind. In a series of tweets that began shortly before 10:30 p.m., the president defended himself against Pelosi’s claim that he “had a temper tantrum,” calling it “such a lie!,” and railed against House Democrats not getting anything done.
But during their shows, the hosts seemed to all agree with Meyers’s assessment that the news conference “predictably went off the rails.”
“You knew this was going to be a weird one,” Meyers said, drawing attention to a sign that had been placed in front of the podium, which featured statistics about the Russia investigation and the words “No collusion” and “No obstruction.”
He continued: “This is such a dumb sign because he made the word ‘NO’ super big and the other words super tiny. ... If anything, this looks like the world’s least effective anti-drug PSA."
Meyers was critical of the graphic’s prominent placement, noting that Trump, who is known for enjoying fast food, effectively “made the Rose Garden look like a drive-through.”
“Yeah, I’ll have 18 angry Democrats, no collusion,” he said, pretending to order as Trump.
The sign also didn’t go unnoticed by Colbert.
“Reminds me of the time that Jefferson addressed the Continental Congress behind a sign that said, ‘Sally Hemings, just a friend,’” he joked, referencing the enslaved woman who had at least six of Thomas Jefferson’s children.
Over on NBC, Fallon was more interested in the president’s comments, specifically pointing to the way he spoke about impeachment.
“Trump called impeachment the ‘I-word,’ and then he called collusion the ‘K-word,’” Fallon said.
On Colbert’s show, the “I-word” merited its own cold open — a song dedicated to all the words beginning with the letter I that critics would use to describe the president.
The comics also mocked Trump’s appearance, using Pelosi’s “coverup” accusation as inspiration.
“It’s called bronzer, Nancy, and he’s not fooling anyone,” Colbert cracked.
Corden had a similar interpretation of the quote.
“He’s engaged in coverup, foundation, concealer, bronzer, possibly a little lip liner, who knows?” the British host said, showing a picture of Trump looking rather tan.
Though they were largely focused on Trump, Fallon and Meyers still found time to throw some barbs in Pelosi’s direction.
Given her Wednesday comments about Trump, Fallon said “Pelosi can’t be surprised” that the meeting turned out the way it did.
“That’s like talking trash about your friend and then showing up to the group brunch, like, ‘Hey, girl,’” he said.
After playing a clip of Pelosi speaking to reporters and making the allegation, Meyers only had one question.
“So why are you meeting with him?” he asked. “That’s like responding to someone’s birthday Evite by writing, ‘I resent the day you were born,’ and then still clicking ‘Will attend.’”
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