In a new interview with CNN's Brian Stelter, Late Night host Seth Meyers defended his network-mate Jimmy Fallon from criticism that he was too soft on Donald Trump during a recent appearance by the GOP candidate on the Tonight Show. Noting that some viewers see late-night television as an “escape” from more serious news, Meyers said, “I think it’s important that those shows still exist for people who want to tune out politics for a night and I think Jimmy does that better than anybody.” He added, “I think he’s an entertainer with skills at a level far beyond what I will ever possess. I think that's why people prefer his show to everybody.” Fallon previously defended his interview with Trump by saying he’s “never too hard” on any of his guests.
Meyers, who shares producer Lorne Michaels with Fallon’s Tonight Show, has gone harder on Trump than almost any other late-night host, with the possible exception of Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver. The host, who jokingly banned Trump from appearing on his show earlier this year, told CNN, “I think it would be interesting television if he came on our show, but it’s a moot point because it’s not going to happen.” This past week, Meyers delivered his harshest takedown of Trump yet, following the candidate’s attempt to pin birtherism on Hillary Clinton. “The bottom line is this: Trump built his career on a racist lie because he’s a racist and a liar," Meyers said from his desk. It was the type of declaration that would never come out of Jimmy Fallon’s mouth.