Stephen Colbert returned to the Late Show after a vacation in New Zealand, which he said is “as far from the insatiable black hole of news that is Donald Trump as you can get on this planet”.
Things “did not go well” for the president in Colbert’s absence. On Monday, at his first cabinet meeting since the House launched a formal impeachment inquiry, Trump “invited in the ladies and gentlemen of the press and calmly explained that there’s nothing for him to be concerned about … for 71 minutes”, Colbert explained.
“Seventy-one minutes is not a press conference; it’s a one-man show,” Colbert said. “If you like Fleabag, you’ll love Donald Trump in Douchebag.”
Trump was responding, in part, to the furor over his announcement last week that his National Doral golf resort in Florida would host next year’s international G7 summit. “Taxpayer money being spent at his own place – that is bald self-dealing,” Colbert said. “I mean, you’d have to be an idiot to defend that.” Enter the North Dakota senator Kevin Cramer, who said: “It may seem careless politically, but on the other hand there’s tremendous integrity in his boldness and his transparency.”
“Yes, there’s a certain refreshing candor,” said Colbert, who imitated the president: “Hey, if I’m going to get impeached anyway, I say it’s bucket list time: G7 is at the Doral, we’re serving nothing but Trump steaks, it’s BYO porn star, and folks, don’t forget your pistols because we’re heading out to Fifth Avenue.”
Still, Cramer was in the minority. “Most Republicans freaked out, ran for cover, changed their names, and filed off their fingerprints,” said Colbert. So on Saturday, Trump announced that he would no longer host the summit at his resort, while also praising its beauty, grandeur and airport proximity.
“Wow, even Trump’s announcement for not using his resort is a commercial for his resort,” said Colbert, who offered a slogan for Trump’s Doral: “You know our motto: it’s not just unbelievable – it’s unconstitutional.”
“We say this a lot but it was true again today: Donald Trump talked to reporters and once again he lost his mind,” said Seth Meyers on Late Night. “In fact, you should just assume that’s always the case. His mind has always been lost. At this point, it would be more shocking if CNN told us his mind had been found.”
Scandals upon scandals have been the norm with the Trump presidency, but with the impeachment inquiry intensifying, “it just feels like more is happening faster”, said Meyers, who compared the administration to “the SportsCenter of scandals”.
“Instead of having to keep track of a bunch of different scandals like we did for the first couple of years, now we’re just getting all the highlights crammed together at once.”
Top of the list for scandals this week is Trump’s now-reversed decision to host the G7 summit at his Doral resort – a choice he defended on Monday by citing its proximity to Miami international airport, which he claimed “some say is the biggest [in the world]”.
“What do you mean, some say it’s the biggest?” asked an astonished Meyers. “It’s not a mystery, we can measure it.” (A reporter noted on Twitter that it’s not even in the top 20.)
“Trump talks about it like scientists have been working for years to discover the biggest airport,” Meyers continued, “like there are hieroglyphics written on a cave somewhere and archaeologists have been trying to decipher them in order to determine whether Miami is one of the biggest airports.”
Still, Trump and his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, defended the decision by saying that it wouldn’t benefit Trump since they’d do it at cost. Meyers called that claim a “sham” since “we know from previous events at Trump resorts, that’s not how it works”. For example, at previous events at Trump properties, taxpayers have paid $546 a night for hotel rooms at Mar-a-Lago and $1,000 for liquor that White House staffers drank in one sitting.
“The only way spending $1,000 for liquor in one sitting makes sense is if you are a White House staffer,” Meyers said before pretending to morosely sip liquor as a staffer: “The other day he called the FBI because he couldn’t find his remote control … we’re all going to die in jail.
“I’m sorry, if taxpayers are going to spend a thousand bucks on booze then they should get to drink the booze themselves, especially if you have to deal with this president,” Meyers said. “In fact, every Trump tweet should come with an option to retweet, like, or send me a bottle of whiskey.”