Late-night hosts took aim at Donald Trump on Wednesday night for his previously undisclosed meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit and his voter fraud commission, which launched yesterday.
“What a week for Potus!” began Samantha Bee. “On Monday he got to do a vroom-vroom. Then Tuesday his healthcare bill died again. But today he got to lurch out from behind an orgy of flags and solve our national epidemic of voter fraud.”
Bee detailed some of the president’s past statements about voter fraud in which he’s suggested he didn’t actually lose the popular vote to Hillary Clinton and alleged that millions of deceased Americans vote.
“I wonder where so many Americans got that concern,” Bee said. “It’s shocking that so many dead people would vote for Hillary considering she probably killed them in the first place.
“His new commission introduced themselves with a friendly get-to-know-you letter to all 50 secretaries of state,” Bee explained. The commission has requested information on all American voters, including social security numbers, party affiliation, dates of birth, voting history and more.
Bee continued: “Since the commission wants to know so much about us, let’s find a little about them, starting with vice-chair Kris Kristofferson Kobach. Back in the 80s when his Harvard classmates were getting laid and protesting apartheid, Kris was writing an anti-divestment thesis under the tutelage of Samuel Huntington, an adviser to the white South African regime who favored enlightened despotism.”
She then aired clips of Kobach peddling the same theories as Trump regarding Barack Obama’s citizenship.
“How the fuck do you go to Harvard, Yale and Oxford and come out a birther?” she asked. “Tucker Carlson is right. College is stupid! And Kobach’s voter fraud snipe-hunt even earned him a place in the very exclusive too-out-there-for-Fox-News club.”
Bee then introduced other members of the commission, such as Hans von Spakovsky. “Who is he besides a man whose name sounds like it’s twirling its mustache?” Bee asked, before showing news reels in which Spakovsky was referred to as the “dark prince of voter fraud alarmism” and the “point person for undermining voting rights during the Bush administration”.
“Guys like this have been playing the long game, methodically chipping away at the Voting Rights Act since the moment LBJ signed it and then left the room to expose himself to the steno pool,” she warned. “And now, this president has handed them the key to the candy shop.”
Trevor Noah of Comedy Central turned his eye to the revelation on Tuesday night of a second, previously undisclosed conversation held between Trump and Putin at the G20 summit last week.
“Russia is banning fidget spinners,” he began. “And just like that, there goes Russia’s reputation as a fun country. The reason Russia is banning fidget spinners is because at an anti-Putin rally a bunch of people were giving out free fidget spinners. So Putin was like, ‘Fidget spinners means you’re against me.’
“This is genius when you think about,” Noah joked. “Every other resistance movement should’ve done the same thing. You just tie yourself to a popular fad and make it look like it’s bigger than it is.
“But it turns out, fidget spinners aren’t the only thing Russia is toying with,” Noah joked, before discussing Trump’s dinner table conversation with Putin in Hamburg, first reported by political scientist Ian Bremmer. “I just don’t understand why he would do this. If the perception of you is that you’re colluding with Russia, just don’t have a private conversation with the president of Russia. Like, if there are rumors that you have sex with sheep, even if they are false, just stay away from sheep for a while.”
Noah went on: “Maybe we’ve been parenting Trump the wrong way. Because clearly, if we tell him to stay away from that bad boy Vlad, we’re going to push him right into his arms. By the way, that bad boy knows the trouble he’s causing, because just listen to how he trolled the US.”
The host then aired footage of an interview in which Putin reflects on his first G20 meeting with Trump, the one that was immediately made public and lasted over two hours. Putin referred to Trump as an “open” person.
“That’s exactly what we’re worried about,” said Noah. “Remember the last time he spoke with the Russians? He accidentally spilled Israeli state secrets. We know he’ll say anything to make him look cool. Putin will be like, ‘So Donald, how many nuclear submarines do you have now?’ ‘Let me tell you Vlad, we have literally millions of submarines.’”
“How stupid can you be?” he asked. “You’re in the middle of what could be the worst scandal in US history. People think you colluded with the president of a hostile foreign power. Then you go out of your way to meet with him again and you don’t tell anybody? That’s like if OJ does get out on parole and immediately goes glove shopping.
“So far the White House, of course, has downplayed this meeting, calling it a brief conversation at the end of dinner,” Colbert explained. “Brief, because after all, how long does it take to give someone your room key?”
Colbert then explained that sources at the dinner described the meeting as lasting as long as an hour. The president also took to Twitter to defend himself, writing that the “fake news story of secret dinner with Putin is ‘sick’”.
The host continued: “Here’s the thing. I want to believe Trump here. I really want to believe that the president of the United States is just shooting the breeze with the guy he’s accused of colluding with, for the second time that day, for an hour.
“But here’s why it’s hard,” Colbert said. “He lies about everything. He lies about crowd size, voter fraud, ’til death do us part. This might actually be a nothing-burger, but every time they tell us it’s a nothing-burger, it turns out to be a juicy quarter-pounder with sleaze.”