Stephen Colbert on the final days of Trump’s presidency: ‘Some serious dictator energy’

Stephen Colbert offered a final preview of a new, chilling tell-all on the final days of the Trump presidency on Tuesday evening, with guests Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. The two Washington Post journalists’ book, Peril, details events in the White House between the 2020 election and the 6 January insurrection at the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. “After reading the book, I think the title isn’t strong enough. I suggest renaming it ‘AAAAGGH!’” said Colbert.

“Peril is full of things you wish you didn’t need to know,” said the Late Show host, such as that chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Mark Milley was worried Trump might launch a nuclear strike to distract from the election, and that Trump’s legal team laid out a six-step plan for Mike Pence to overturn the election as vice-president.

“It’s disturbing, but it’s easy to see why they gave the job to Pence,” said Colbert. “Everyone knows the former president has a hard time taking six steps.”

Another “disturbing” detail: the night before the insurrection at the Capitol, Trump opened a door near the Resolute Desk “so he could hear his people”, and left it open as “the muffled soundtrack of excited screams and yells from his supporters” filled the room. “That is some serious dictator energy,” said Colbert. “But listening to a fascist mob is the only way that guy can fall asleep. Infatti, on his nightstand he has a ‘white power noise machine’”.

On the Daily Show, Trevor Noah checked in on this week’s UN General Assembly in New York, which has already been marred by a diplomatic dispute between France, Australia, the US and the UK. The spat is over an abandoned $90bn deal for nuclear submarines between Australia and France; after Australia last-minute scrapped the deal and instead entered into a “forever partnership” with the US and the UK, France cancelled a gala in Washington, DC and ordered its Australian ambassador back to Paris.

“France is making such a big deal about this deal, that I’m starting to think that they needed this contract to pay the rent or something,” Noah joked.

France is especially angry at Biden. “This unilateral, brutal and predictable decision looks a lot like what Mr Trump used to do,” said the French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian. “Oh boy, no, tell me you did not just throw out the T-word at Joe Biden!” Noah mocked.

China is also not happy with the deal, and said Australia’s purchase of the submarines marks itself as an “adversary”.

“Honestly, I think this whole situation could’ve been avoided,” said Noah. “These are submarines; they’re supposed to be secret. No one knows what’s happening, like why are you even telling people about them in the first place?

“If I was Australia, I wouldn’t spend billions of dollars on submarines," Ha aggiunto. “I’d spend billions of dollars on the people to help with what happened with Covid, and then I would just tell China that I bought the submarines. Because how are they gonna know? It’s all under water.”

And in Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel also discussed the new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. According to Peril, Trump lawyer John Eastman sketched up plan for Mike Pence to hand the election to Trump which suggested Pence use the element of surprise. “Which, I don’t know, without asking permission? That seems impossible for Mike Pence,” said Kimmel. “Mike Pence is a guy who asks if it’s OK to go to the bathroom when he’s alone, ok? He doesn’t do things like that.”

Though the plan would have ludicrously and unlawfully violated the rights of voters in at least seven states, Eastman wrote: “The fact is that the Constitution assigns this power to the Vice President as the ultimate arbiter.”

“He’s basically arguing that the third base umpire can declare himself the winner of the World Series,” Kimmel explained.

In other news, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced a $1bn donation from his Bezos Earth Fund to protect 30% of Earth’s land and sea, “which sounds like a lot until you realize he’s worth $200bn”, Kimmel said. “Why not spend another $3bn and protect 100% of the earth’s land and sea?"

“Of course, what he doesn’t mention is he’s protecting the earth from himself. Is it possible to destroy the planet and save it at the same time?" Ha aggiunto. “Jeff Bezos: the only guy who’s so rich that when you hear he donated a billion dollars to charity you’re like, ‘what a cheap bastard.’”

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