One day after late-night hosts collectively slammed President Trump for publicly siding with Russia over his own intelligence community at a summit in Finland, Stephen Colbert roasted Trump again for his attempt at a walk-back.
“Let’s see how dumb you think the American people are,” Colbert said before rolling footage of Trump’s latest remarks.
To recap, Trump said a lot of things at the Helsinki press conference — including calling America “foolish” and bringing up Hillary Clinton’s emails — but one comment about whether he believes Russian leader Vladimir Putin over U.S. intel on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election caused an uproar. “My people came to me, [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coates came to me and some others, they said they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia,” he said. “I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
Now, back in the States, Trump gathered Republican officials at the White House and offered this defense: “I realize that there is a need for some clarification. In the key sentence in my remarks, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t.’ The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t’ or ‘it wouldn’t be Russia.'”
“So of all the terrible words you said in that press conference, you’re only taking back one of them?” Colbert asked. Slipping into his Trump impression, the host continued, “I meant to say ‘wouldn’t,’ okay? But that part where I was asked to condemn Putin but instead I improvised a surrealist slam poem about Hillary’s email server? Nailed it.”
Over on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Jimmy Kimmel was particularly forthright in his mockery.
“The news today is that our President is a liar, and not even a good one,” he began. “President Trump today, in an attempt to explain what the Helsinki was going through his cotton candy-covered head when he stood next to Vladimir Putin, of all people, and took sides with Russia over our own American intelligence agencies, now says it was just a tiny little slip-up — even smaller than his fists.”
Kimmel also got in a Papa Johns reference. (John H. Schnatter, the founder of the pizza company, agreed to step down after a report came out about him using the N-word on a conference call.) “When you said, ‘I don’t see any reason why it would be Russia,’ for a minute there it almost seemed like you were hiding something from us,” Kimmel said of Trump. “Like there was something Putin knew about you, that you wanted him to keep quiet. Now it all makes sense. Boy, I tell you, Papa John must be at home right now going, ‘Wait, you can do that?’”
By the end, any shade Kimmel might’ve had was nonexistent. He chose, instead, to go for the jugular: “I would rather we had a chimpanzee as president of the United States. At least with a chimp there would be somebody to eat the bugs out of Rudy Giuliani’s hair.”
Watch the late-night hosts in the clips above.