Seth Meyers: Trump Has Always Been ‘Racist and Insane’—Charlottesville Proved It

‘You can stand for a nation, or you can stand for a hateful movement,’ the ‘Late Night’ host said. ‘You cannot do both.’


Before doing anything else Monday night, Seth Meyers addressed the weekend’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia, from his desk.

“On Saturday, there was yet another terror attack on American soil,” the Late Night host said, “allegedly perpetrated by a white supremacist.” He called the violent death of Heather Heyer “a horrifying incident that left most of the country stunned and terrified.”

“But on Saturday, you didn’t hear her name or the terrorist’s name or even the word ‘terrorist’ from our president,” Meyers continued. Instead, as the host played on screen, the country heard Trump condemn violence “on many sides.”

On many sides,” Meyers repeated. “If that choice of words made you feel sick to your stomach, the good news is you’re a normal and decent person. The jury is still out on the president, as he initially refused to condemn the white supremacist movement in this country.”

On Trump’s subsequent statement delivered today at the White House, Meyers said it “struck the right tone.” But, he added, “I’m sorry, pencils down on this subject was Saturday evening.”

The host went on to note that some “ignored it or played it down” when Trump suggested that President Obama was not born in the U.S. “It was racist and insane, but he was written off as a clown, a bitter, little man who didn’t know an American could have a name like Barack Obama.”

After all the other racist dog whistles delivered during his campaign and first six months in office, Meyers said, “now white supremacists and American Nazis are visible and energetic and demonstrable in a way we have not seen in our lifetimes.” Whether Trump “knows it or not,” he continued, “many people see him as leading that movement.”

“The leader of our country is called a president because he’s supposed preside over our society,” the host continued. “His job is to lead, to cajole, to scold, to correct our path, to lift up what is good about us and to absolutely and unequivocally—and immediately—condemn what is evil in us.”

If he does not do that, Meyers said, “then he is not a president.”

“You can stand for a nation, or you can stand for a hateful movement,” he said. “You cannot do both. And if you don’t make the right choice, I’m confident that the American voter will.”