As members of Congress argue about whether or not President Donald Trump really said “shithole countries” in a meeting about immigration, Seth Meyers made an important point on his show Monday night. “It doesn’t matter which word he used. The racist sentiment is the same.”
And for once, everyone from CNN hosts to Republican lawmakers were no longer hesitating to call Trump “racist,” a fact he responded to with a textbook “overreach” on Sunday night, the Late Night host explained.
“I’m not a racist,” the president told reporters from his Florida golf course over the weekend. “I’m the least racist person you’ll ever interview.”
“Why do you do that to yourself, man?” the host asked. “If you’d just said, ‘I’m not a racist,’ then maybe you could muddy the waters and people would have to debate it. But when you say ‘the least racist person,’ you just set off alarm bells.”
“It’s the difference between saying, ‘I’m a tall person’ and ‘I’m the tallest person on Earth,’” he continued. “With one, you go, ‘Yeah, pretty tall, I guess,’ and with the other you go, ‘Oh, he’s crazy.’”
From there, Meyers played a montage of every time Trump has used that same exact defense, to little success. “Why can’t he just say, ‘I’m not a racist?’” the host asked in disbelief. “Everything has to be a superlative with him.”
Later, Meyers went after members of Trump’s party, like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), for getting mad at other people for labeling the president “racist.” As he put it, “It would also be hard to have an immigration compromise if everyone kept yelling, ‘There’s a coyote in the Oval Office!’ But what else are you supposed to yell when there’s a fucking coyote in the Oval Office?! Those are the words for it.”
Finally, he examined the “hollow talking point” about “merit-based immigration” that Trump and Republicans have been pushing as a cover for the president’s racism.
“You want immigration to be merit-based?” he asked. “Your job isn’t even merit-based! Your whole life has been the opposite for merit-based.” If Trump really wants a merit-based immigration system, then, Meyers said, “You should have go back to whatever bog your family crawled out of and get in the back of the line.”