“For some, the weekend is a time to rest, relax, and spend time with family,” Seth Meyers began his latest “closer look” segment Monday night. “But for the Trump administration, it’s a time for making up fake tragedies and openly trying to blame the court system for future terror attacks.”
There was a lot of news to cover since his last Late Night this past Thursday, from Kellyanne Conway’s fake “Bowling Green massacre” to President Trump’s personal attacks on a federal judge for blocking his travel ban. But the highlight of the segment came when Meyers turned to the most shocking moment of the president’s pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly.
“Trump has staked the entire first two weeks of his presidency on the supposed desire to keep bad people from harming the United States,” Meyers said. “And yet, there are apparently some actually bad people that he’s totally fine with.”
He was speaking, of course, about Russian President Vladimir Putin, who Trump said he “respects” despite the fact that he’s “a killer,” adding, “We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think, our country’s so innocent?”
“Now, admitting that the U.S. has made mistakes would be fine, but that’s not what Trump is doing,” Meyers said. “Instead, it sounds like he’s defending Putin because he’s about to get caught for the exact same thing.”
But Meyers said Trump’s comments “shouldn’t come as a surprise” given his “authoritarian” behavior thus far as president, including his insistence on repeating the “bogus claim” that millions of Americans voted illegally.
The host also went after “vice-presidential mannequin Mike Pence” who was forced to “act as if Trump had not said the thing that we all heard him say” about Putin. Appearing on the Sunday shows—minus CNN’s State of the Union—Pence would not even say whether he believes the U.S. is “morally superior” to Russia.
“Pence and the GOP’s continued support for Trump shouldn’t be surprising,” Meyers said, “but this is still a troubling time for it. Because we need Congress to exert some scrutiny or oversight over this president, who is clearly bent on challenging, and perhaps eroding, the basic pillars of our democracy.”