Donald Trump’s first televised interview, with ABC News’ David Muir, gave Seth Meyers plenty of material to work with Thursday night. In less than 30 minutes, the new president promised a Mexico border wall within “months,” invented intelligence officials that claim “torture works,” and repeated his baseless claim that millions of “illegals” voted against him in the election.
“Even bigger than Trump’s obsession with the crowd at his inauguration is his insecurity about losing the popular vote,” the Late Night host began. If you “were hoping a week of being president would change that,” Meyers said that fantasy flew out the window when Trump started tweeting about a “major investigation” into “VOTER FRAUD.”
Listing off all the groups and officials who have disproven Trump’s claim, including his own campaign lawyers, Meyers said the president “continues to persist in what is either a lie or a delusion.”
“So what’s going on with this bizarre fixation?” he asked. “Dogged by insecurity,” Meyers accused Trump of “making up wild, false claims” about the so-called voter fraud in his interview with Muir. Those include his assertion that none of the 3-5 million “illegal” votes went to him. “Dead people and illegals fucking hate me,” Meyers said, imitating Trump.
As for the random anecdote that seems to have driven Trump’s claims, Meyers asked, “What the hell is going on? A very famous German golfer told me he saw some Mexicans voting? If your grandpa started talking like this, you would consider putting him in a home.”
“Clearly, this is the beginning of an attempt by the president to crack down on the people who voted against him, using fake voter fraud as a pretext,” Meyers said, perhaps giving Trump too much credit. “But Trump did not restrict his lies and delusions just to voter fraud claims.” For instance, the president also said he got the biggest standing ovation at the CIA since Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl.
“The problem with Trump’s false claims is that it makes it impossible for us to take his word for it on anything policy-related,” Meyers added, citing the president’s alleged replacement plan for Obamacare and promise that Mexico will ultimately pay for the border wall as prime examples.
“In the end, if you were hoping Trump would use the ABC interview to offer a hopeful, unifying message for the country, you were probably disappointed,” Meyers concluded. “Instead, he pulled the anchor aside to show him an inauguration photo and once again brag about his crowd size.”
Because that is still, remarkably, what he cares about most.