Seth Meyers called Donald Trump’s Rose Garden speech as police tear-gassed peaceful protesters outside the White House gates “one of the most menacing moments” of his presidency to date.
As the Late Night host put it, Trump “only has two modes: menacing sociopath or limp french fry that’s been sitting at the bottom of the bag soaking up all of the oil.” Both were present in the president’s address, as he veered between “threatening” protesters with military force and “listlessly” reading “empty platitudes” off of his teleprompter that he had clearly never seen before.
“I know our brains have all melted from the constant, flagrant lawlessness and overall weirdness of this administration,” Meyers said. “And nothing feels real anymore and we’re all just programmed to move on to the next thing because Trump will inevitably do something bizarre the next day.”
But “this is a horrifying moment,” he stressed to viewers. The “inevitable worse-case scenario” everyone has been worrying about is here,” he said. “You’re not going to get an invitation in the mail asking you to RSVP to the #DemocracyIsOverParty. There’s no on-off switch. It turns out, democracy is on a dimmer. This is what it looks like.”
After playing an extended clip of police gassing peaceful protesters “just so Trump could walk over to a church for a photo-op,” Meyers said, “Trump couldn’t have done more damage to the Constitution last night if he had pulled a Sinead O’Connor and ripped it up on television and then ate the pieces.”
The host then mocked Trump for using that photo-op to “hold up a Bible in front of the cameras like a fourth grader who forgot about show and tell until the last minute.” He added, “You can tell he’s a man of faith the way he holds the bible like he’s selling it on QVC.”
Typically, Meyers ends his “A Closer Look” segments with a joke. This time, he didn’t even try.
“We can’t just wait until November and hope to vote Trump out,” he said. “We need to stand up to him now, to stop the country’s descent into authoritarianism before it’s too late.”