Stephen Colbert opened The Late Show Monday night on a somber note.
“You know, the world is still reeling from Friday’s terror attack in New Zealand on two mosques by a white supremacist in which 50 Muslim worshipers were killed,” the host said. “All of our hearts go out to those at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques and the great people of New Zealand.”
Soon, he had moved on to President Donald Trump’s reaction.
“Trump has trouble showing love for things that are not him, and he has a particularly bad record with Muslims,” Colbert said. “So he’s in a bind. On the one hand, after a terror attack to condemn the extremist ideology of the terrorist should be a slam-dunk. On the other hand, he can’t jump.”
“Also, he never condemns the racists,” he continued, listing off a litany of presidential comments that were either sympathetic to racists or outright racist themselves over the past few years. “He calls himself a nationalist. I’m just saying, if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, then why does it keep goose-stepping?”
Speaking to Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace over the weekend, Trump’s chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said, “The president is not a white supremacist,” adding, “I’m not sure how many times we have to say that.”
“Having to say it once is a problem,” Colbert shot back.
In another interview, Mulvaney said, “I don’t think anybody could say that the president is anti-Muslim.”
Looking directly into the camera, Colbert said, “The president is anti-Muslim.”
Finally, the host went after Kellyanne Conway for defending Trump by telling Fox News viewers to read the New Zealand shooter’s entire manifesto—not just the part that referenced the president.
“Why would you say that?” he asked. “You’ve got to read to the end, there’s an amazing twist: It turns out, the real racial superiority was the friends we made along the way.”