Late-night hosts assess Trumps decision to withdraw troops from Syria and the emergence of a second whistleblower
I have a simple but very important question, said Stephen Colbert at the start of Mondays Late Show. Can we take away Donald Trumps phone?
Trumps phone makes everything worse, he continued. Everything he does with his phone is bad! Tweeting, talking, sexually harassing it Siri, what are you wearing?
Specifically, Trump and his phone called the Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdoan on Sunday and afterward, at 11pm, Trump announced the US would withdraw troops from northern Syria, leaving Americas Kurdish allies alone to face Turkey.
This is a complete betrayal of the Kurdish fighters who helped the US defeat Isis, said Colbert, and theres only one way out of this: Kurds, youve got 24 hours to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.
The move was roundly condemned across the aisle, even by Trump stalwarts Mitch McConnell and Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade.
In defending his actions, Trump saved the best for worst and went for his phone, with a tweet that can really only be quoted in full: As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (Ive done before!).
Hes gone full god-emperor, said Colbert, imitating the president: It is I, Donald the Great, of unmatched wisdom and infinite wives, destroyer of casinos, conqueror of 10-piece McNuggets, scourge of Chrissy Teigen, defeated only once in battle by my eternal nemesis: umbrella.
Meanwhile, keeping up with the Ukraine scandal feels like somebody is feeding me crazy pills, said Colbert. I mean, we have seen the transcript of the phone call where Trump pressures the president of Ukraine for dirt on Joe Biden, but everywhere you look, the Republicans are saying: theres nothing wrong with this call. You didnt see what you saw.
And yet, over the weekend, a second whistleblower has reportedly started working with the first whistleblowers lawyer and preparing to testify. Its amazing, said Colbert theyre really starting to build a case that the president did the thing he has repeatedly admitted.
Between Trump and the Joker, it was a quite a weekend for villains in a lot of makeup, said Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel first addressed the emergence of a second whistleblower in the Houses impeachment inquiry. Trump, who doesnt know their identity, dismissed them as a partisan on Monday, which is like eating a steak and saying I can tell the chef is a Libra, joked Kimmel.
Second whistleblower aside, the impeachment saga continues to spiral for Trump. To recap, we now have two whistleblowers, we have a transcript of the phone call, a bunch of highly incriminating text messages, and not only did Trump do it privately with Ukraine, he asked China to do it on television, said Kimmel. If this was Judge Judy, hed be out by the first mesothelioma commercial.
Trump naturally defended himself on Twitter, but I think he may have swapped the Adderall for airplane glue this time, said Kimmel in reference to his tweet of great and unmatched wisdom.
In other news, a federal judge rejected the presidents claim that he is immune from criminal investigations in this case, one into his tax returns calling his defense repugnant to the nations governmental structure and constitutional values.
It might not happen soon, but I love the irony that were gonna release Trumps tax returns without his consent, said Kimmel. Were just going to grab them by the subpoena and see what happens.
Were now weeks deep into the impeachment investigation engulfing Trumps presidency, and if you were facing the biggest crisis of your presidency, what would you do? asked Trevor Noah on the Daily Show. Probably lay low and focus on putting out this fire. But you see, youre not Donald Trump. Because if you were Donald Trump, you would start a whole new fire.
That new fire would be ordering US troops out of northern Syria, and its a big deal, said Noah. American troops in Syria have been protecting Kurdish forces, key in the fight against Isis, from Turkey.
After a move like this, you cant blame Americas allies for thinking Americas word aint shit, said Noah. Without the Kurds, Isis could make a comeback and not like a cool, small part in a Tarantino movie kinda way, not that kind of comeback.
The bipartisan dismay at this move has been striking, Noah noted. Even Mitch McConnell, Senate majority leader and Jack-o-lantern in December, has come out condemning Trump.
Its devastating news for the blindsided Kurds, but Noah suggested a solution: Kurdish forces, you need to phone Trump, and you need to tell him you have dirt on Joe Biden. But if he wants it hes going to need to give you military aid. Or as I like to call it, a Kurd pro quo.