The bar was set so low for Donald Trump in the first presidential debate—basically refrain from spinning his head and projectile vomiting like the demon-child in The Exorcist—that pundits right and left were predicting a victory for the blustering ex-reality-TV host.
Hillary had other plans. Whereas the former secretary of State came off composed and mature, Trump unraveled about 30 minutes into the debate—sniffling and guzzling water as if he were reenacting his first (or second?) divorce mediation, and frequently interrupting Hillary by shouting “Wrong!” into his mic like a petulant child.
Cue Late Night’s Seth Meyers, who called Trump “so unprepared” for the debate immediately following the “Humbling at Hofstra” (trademark: Mark Cuban), but opted for a more thorough breakdown on his program Tuesday night.
“Based on the expectations his own supporters helped set, all Trump had to do was be a normal person and he would’ve been declared the winner—and yet he still managed to lose. Even Fox News had to glumly admit that he lost, although they did have plenty of excuses,” said Meyers.
The comedian then cut to a montage of Fox News analysts making excuses for Trump—the most egregious of which came from Brit Hume, who let his sexist flag fly in describing Hillary as “composed, smug sometimes, and not necessarily attractive.” Wow.
“She?! She didn’t look attractive?” exclaimed a stunned Meyers. “Last night, Donald Trump’s face looked like someone was making a fist inside a sock puppet!”
“But even in his worst moments, Trump had a best bud to fall back on,” Meyers added. “You might remember last night Trump continued to falsely claim he opposed the Iraq War, and cited one Fox host in particular who he said could prove it—if people would just call him.”
That would be Trump’s No. 1 cheerleader: Stan—excuse me, Sean—Hannity. Trump claimed he’d opposed the Iraq War (a bald-faced lie), and that his (convenient) alibi was Hannity, whom he’d apparently informed in confidence, thereby contradicting his stance on The Howard Stern Show in 2002. “Nobody calls Sean Hannity!” bellowed Trump, assuming that A) Anyone would want to call Hannity, B) Hannity is an unbiased source, and C) Hannity has any integrity.
In addition to the Iraq lie, one of Trump’s other bizarre lies came when he attempted to attack Hillary for sharing part of her plan to combat ISIS in lieu of the Trump “plan”: repeatedly claiming you have a great one but it’s a secret, like a true catfisher.
“You’re telling the enemy everything you want to do… No wonder you’ve been fighting ISIS your entire adult life,” Trump told Hillary.“That’s right! She’s been fighting ISIS her entire adult life—which led to this fact-check from the Associated Press, one of the better fact-checks in history,” said Meyers.Here it is: “Hillary Clinton was born in 1947 and is 68 years old. She reached adulthood in 1965. The Islamic State group grew out of an al Qaeda spinoff, al Qaeda in Iraq in 2013, the year Clinton left the State Department.”
“Although—although—I guess it’s not surprising someone had to explain to Trump when adulthood begins since he still hasn’t reached it,” joked Meyers.
Then there was the exchange between Hillary and Trump concerning his refusal to disclose his tax returns—the first presidential candidate since 1980 to do so. Hillary accused Trump of attempting to hide the fact that he may not be as charitable as he claims, may not have as much money as much as he claims, and that he may pay little to no federal income tax.
“Trump basically admitted that he pays no federal income taxes,” said Meyers. “He’s refused to release his tax returns so we don’t know how much, if anything, he pays in income taxes, but I think he might have tipped his hand with these exchanges last night.”
During their back-and-forth on Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns (he claims he can’t because they’re under audit, which the IRS has repeatedly said is a lie), Trump told Hillary that if he indeed paid no federal income tax “That makes me smart” and “It would be squandered too, believe me.”
“Oh, the government would squander your money?” asked Meyers. “Says the guy who covers his penthouse in gold like an old prospector who just won the lottery? But if you were paying close attention, you might have caught the ‘It would be squandered.’ Trump basically admitted he doesn’t pay any federal income taxes.”