The late-night comedians who love roasting President Trump’s administration had a field day on Tuesday night, just hours after Donald Trump Jr. tweeted his chain of emails with a music publicist who offered to set up a meeting with a “Russian government attorney” who had potentially damaging information about Hillary Clinton before the election.
“People, at this point, it’s not a high-level conspiracy,” Trevor Noah said on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” mocking the fact that the publicist later checked in at Trump Tower on Facebook when he went to meet with Trump Jr. “This isn’t ‘House of Cards.’ This isn’t even ‘Veep.’ It wouldn’t even qualify for ‘Blue’s Clues.’”
While Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon and James Corden were in repeats on Tuesday night, the others (Noah, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O’Brien) didn’t hold back. Here were the common themes during the monologues:
1) The fact that Trump Jr. tweeted out his own emails to show “transparency.”
Colbert: “What are you doing? Who told him to do this? Does he even have a lawyer? Because you rarely see a cop show where the lawyer bursts into the interrogation room and shouts, ‘Keep talking! In fact, tweet out everything you know!’ ”
Noah: “This two-legged brain foreclosure thought the best way to get out of this mess would be to jump into it himself. He was basically the guy in the movie cornered at the edge of the cliff and everybody’s like, ‘We’ve got you surrounded!’ He says, ‘That’s what you think,’ and he then just fell. And you’re like, ‘Hey, you’re falling to your death!’ And he’s like, ‘It’s not a death if it’s suicide!’ ”
2) The name connection.
O’Brien: “Donald Trump Jr. released a series of emails showing he actively tried to collaborate with the Russians before the election. When he heard this, Donald Trump said, ‘Good luck trying to connect me to Donald Trump Jr.’ ”
Noah: “Donald Jr. is now the first thing Trump regrets putting his name on.”
3) The fact that this is all about emails.
Noah: “Oh, cursed irony! The emails giveth the presidency and the emails shall taketh it away!”
Kimmel: “It is funny, though, that after Donald spent a year hammering Hillary about emails he may finally get brought down by an email. ‘It’s like rain on your wedding day’ — you know what I’m saying?”
4) The (not subtle) content of the emails from publicist Rob Goldstone.
Colbert: “Remember, it’s going to take careful parsing to prove that the Trump campaign was privately colluding with Russia to get damaging confidential information about Hillary Clinton. This is the first email: ‘Subject: Russia — Clinton — private and confidential.’ Let’s stop right there. … We are five words in, and four of them are ‘Russia, Clinton, private, confidential.” The only one that’s innocent is ‘and.’ ”
Noah: “You could not write a clearer, more narc-y email than that. It was like getting an email saying, ‘Would you like, by your choice, to smoke some illegal weed marijuana drugs in violation of local statute 22 section 3?’”
Colbert: “Goldstone could not be clearer that this was going to be shady stuff: ‘This is obviously very high-level and sensitive information.’ Yes, obviously. That’s why he encrypted his communique with an algorithm that cybersecurity experts call ’email.’ ”
5) Trump Jr.’s email response that stated “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
Noah: “You would think as a patriot you would say, ‘I may not like Hillary, but I’m an American first.’ Not ‘I love it!’ And maybe Don Jr. just doesn’t know how to use the word ‘love’ appropriately because he’s never heard it growing up.”
Colbert: “Naturally, when Don Jr. learned that a hostile foreign power was trying to undermine our democracy, he immediately reported it to the FBI. Just kidding! … That’s a weird way to say it: ‘I love it, especially in the summer?’ You’re not describing a sparkling rosé with some toasted figs and soft brie.”
6) Trump Jr.’s lawyer.
Kimmel: “This lawyer in the past represented members of the mafia. … The Trumps are like the Corleone family if all of them were Fredo.”
O’Brien: “Donald Trump Jr. is being represented by a mafia lawyer who has defended four New York crime families. So now the lawyer has updated his résumé to say ‘defended five New York crime families.’ ”
Colbert: “Don Jr. has now hired an attorney that he’s clearly not listening to, named Alan Futerfas … besides being a mob lawyer, Futerfas is also a Juilliard-trained trombonist. That’s going to come in real handy at the end of the trial when they need someone to play ‘mwah mwah waaah.’ ”
7) President Trump’s statement: “My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency.”
Noah: “ ‘My son is a high-quality person?’ I’m sorry, that is not a statement of support. In fact, that’s not even a compliment.”
Kimmel: “Right. As soon as the New York Times told him they were going to release his emails, he released his emails. He’s about as transparent as a pumpkin.”
Colbert: (in Trump voice) “High-quality person. Top-shelf son, okay? Thinking of having him gold leafed, paid for the under-coating. Tremendous.”
8) Rob Goldstone’s social media presence.
Kimmel: “Maybe the most interesting thing about the Trumps is anytime there’s a weird story, if you dig just a little bit deeper, it gets weirder. The guy on the other end of the email chain, Rob Goldstone, this is a guy the Trumps know from the Miss Universe pageant. He posts a lot of pictures of himself on Facebook wearing hats and leaves in his head. … This is the guy setting up the meeting for Trump’s top campaign staff. And they took that meeting!”
Noah: “I have a serious question: Does the Trump family know anybody normal? Because everyone around them is a cartoon. … Is there anybody who is, like, ‘Hi, my name is Bill. I’m just a guy’? Even their Russian contact who should be super low-key spends all his time — and this is real — posting ridiculous selfies of himself.”
9) Reince Priebus and “nothing burger.”
O’Brien: “White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus has dismissed the latest Trump-Russia story as a nothing burger. When questioned about his really strange choice of words, he explained, ‘My name is Reince Priebus.’ ”
Colbert: “Reince Priebus said this whole story is a nothing burger. These emails turned it into an all-you-can-prosecute buffet.”