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February 14, 2018

Why should first lady Melania Trump be the only Trump with her own late-night video tribute? Thanks to Jimmy Kimmel, she's not. "The White House is releasing their own line of Valentine's Day cards this year — have you heard about this?" Kimmel asked on Tuesday's Kimmel Live. "That's because we made it up, but it was funny — I guess we're at the point where anything is believable." He ran through valentine cards from President Trump, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump sons Don Jr. and Eric, Jared Kushner, and GOP congressional leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. Kimmel even found a card for White House adviser and immigration hardliner Stephen Miller — it's a doozy — but Vladimir Putin's card is the most topical. Watch that, and Kimmel's theories on Valentine's Day, below. Peter Weber

February 9, 2018

"Under Donald Trump, terrifying news comes from the darndest places," Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show. This time it was a reality show, Celebrity Big Brother, and contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman, who said, among other things, that she was "haunted" by every Trump tweet. Colbert was not sympathetic. "Oh, really — you were haunted?" he said. "Out here it's been the Trumpityville Horror. Also, Omarosa, pro tip: When you're on a reality show, whispering doesn't really work. Trump can still hear you." Omarosa also predicted that things are not going to be okay. "I had an inkling things weren't going to be okay when Trump hired Omarosa to work in the White House," Colbert said.

The White House, meanwhile, is reeling from a scandal involving Rob Porter, the staff secretary who resigned Wednesday after evidence surfaced that he abused his two ex-wives. "Now these are horrible, sickening revelations, so the White House had no choice but to defend him," Colbert deadpanned. White House aides knew about the allegations for months, and Colbert had some HR advice: "You know who Trump ought to fire next? Every person who knew about this, and I'm guessing that's everybody. Because this Porter guy didn't exactly hide his temper. After the story broke, one White House journalist said Porter 'audibly growled at me.'" He re-enacted the growl, then advised: "Hey, when you're trying to convince people you're not a violent predator, maybe don't make animal noises."

"Is the Trump administration so desperate for people who are even mildly competent that they're willing to overlook anything?" Colbert asked. He did agree with White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah that the administration "could have done better" handling the Porter situation: "I think that's fair to say. It's also fair to say the captain of the Hindenburg should have considered a no-smoking sign." Watch below. Peter Weber

December 1, 2017

Unhappy Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's "long nightmare of national service may soon be over," thanks to President Trump's reported plan to force him out of office, Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show. "It's a complicated plan that involves telling him he can go, and then plastering over the Rex-shaped hole in his office wall." Tillerson was always an odd choice for secretary of state, given his lack of experience with diplomacy, "though he wasn't afraid to stand up to some of the world's most dangerously unhinged leaders — he even called one of them a 'moron,'" Colbert said. "I gotta say, it's refreshing to hear about a powerful man fired for something other than flashing his junk."

"Meanwhile, the Trump administration is veering dangerously close to accomplishment," passing the GOP tax bill, Colbert noted. Sure, it would leave people earning $40,000 to $50,000 a year paying a combined $5.3 billion more in taxes and cut the taxes of millionaires by $5.8 billion, he said, "but don't worry, that $5.8 billion will trickle down — to the rich when they throw their money in the air and dance underneath it in joy." Trump alone could save more than $1 billion under the plan, which has, among other provisions, cuts for people who own golf courses and private planes. "Wow, with that kind of cash, he could finally quit that dead-end government job," Colbert said, hopefully.

NBC's Matt Lauer, fired on Wednesday for flashing his junk and other alleged sexual misdeeds, has one brave defender, Colbert noted. Though he found some fault with Geraldo Rivera's "news is a flirty business" and "criminalizing courtship" defense, he had some special fun with the "courtship" analogy. Watch below. Peter Weber

October 12, 2017

President Trump is increasingly "unstable" and "unraveling," according to a new article in Vanity Fair, and that has Stephen Colbert a little unnerved. "So keep in mind that up till now, he's been raveled," he said on Wednesday's Late Show. Colbert explained why — though he shares Trump's deep dislike of everyone in the White House — it is important to have the staff on your side. He pointed to a Trump tweet from Tuesday night where the president lashed out at the "fake news" media for suggesting he was about to fire Chief of Staff John Kelly, then noted that there appeared to be no such reports in the national media. "Oh my god, the fake news is coming from inside his head!" he said.

Colbert briefly speculated that perhaps Trump was referring to an earlier Vanity Fair article that said Kelly had a plan to keep Trump out of the Mar-a-Lago dining room so he wouldn't ask for national security advice from friends and guests — Colbert acted that out — before deciding that Trump made up the reports as a possible pretext for firing Kelly — who, Vanity Fair reports, citing a source, doesn't love his job anyway. "No one knows who that source is, but I'm guessing it's everyone with eyeballs," Colbert said. Trump insisted last weekend that Kelly does love his job, so pick your sources, but it was another Trump comment that made him spit-take. Watch below. Peter Weber

October 5, 2017

Wednesday morning started with an NBC News report that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had called President Trump a "moron" and almost quit over the summer, and on Wednesday's Late Show, Stephen Colbert was incensed. "Hold on there, Tillerson — nobody calls our president a moron except me," Colbert said, "and other world leaders and, ultimately, history." Tillerson was apparently moved to "say such a vicious, accurate thing about his boss" because Trump sullied the Boy Scout Jamboree, Colbert sighed. But Trump, predictably, lashed out on Twitter, and Tillerson called an impromptu press conference.

Tillerson denied ever considering quitting, praised Trump's patriotism and other attributes, and ... declined to deny that he called the president a moron. "Yeah, he totally said it," Colbert said. Afterward, Trump tweeted out his vindication anyway, and demanded that NBC News apologize to America. Colbert agreed, "because apparently, Tillerson didn't call our president a moron; he called him a 'f---ing moron.'"

"If Trump is upset Rex Tillerson called him a moron, wait till he finds out what the rest of the country has been calling him," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. He also played through Tillerson's fealty tour. "This is the first administration where Cabinet secretaries regularly hold press conferences to announce they're not quitting," he said. "It usually happens just before they quit." And he reached the same conclusion as Colbert about Tillerson's non-denial: "Okay, so he definitely called him a moron." Trump and Tillerson's spokeswoman deny the "moron" dig, but "multiple news sources confirm this moron story," Kimmel said. "Obviously, this is a nightmare for the Trump administration," he added, teeing up a fake White House press briefing where a fake press secretary read a list of other rude things Tillerson didn't call Trump. Watch below. Peter Weber

September 12, 2017

Stephen Bannon's interview with 60 Minutes finally aired on Sunday, and the late-night reviews started coming in on Monday. "During his time with Trump, Bannon operated from the shadows," Trevor Noah said on The Daily Show. And after Sunday's interview, "everyone immediately said, 'Okay, this motherf---er should have stayed in the shadows." The interview itself "wasn't particularly eye-opening," Noah said. "Mostly, he just willingly confirmed that he is who we thought he was" and proved "how all-in" he is regarding his former boss. "If Donald Trump ever kills someone," he joked, "Bannon will be the guy driving the white supremacist Bronco."

Bannon talked about how Trump's salacious Access Hollywood tape was a "litmus test" that Chris Christie failed, and Charlie Rose adopted Bannon's euphemism for the scandal. "Billy Bush weekend?" Noah protested. "You can't name something after someone who happened to be there. That's like rebranding the JFK assassination 'Motorcade Driver's Bad Day.' You could describe it that way, but that's not why it's famous."

Bannon also shared his anti-immigrant view of American history, and Noah noticed one ingredient he left out of his "economic nationalism" cake: slavery. "You see what happened there, my friends?" he asked. "They took down the statues, and Steve Bannon forgot the history." But while Bannon held his own, Rose did get under his skin, Noah said, playing Bannon's not-so-subtle tell. The Daily Show took that tic and turned it into something ... special.

On Late Night, Seth Meyers also took note of the Access Hollywood tape euphemism: "Why do they keep saying 'Billy Bush weekend'? It's not a holiday." He imagined if it were. Meyers also took issue with the idea that after cutting a deal with Democrats, Trump is suddenly some sort of political independent. The GOP is now firmly the party of Trump and Bannon, he said, and Hillary Clinton warned everyone last year about the secret ingredient: white nationalist resentment. Bannon "slithered out from under his rock" to make an "absurd" critique of Clinton's alt-right speech, Meyers added, playing a clip. "Of course Hillary Clinton is smarter than Donald Trump. She's a graduate of Yale Law, a former senator and secretary of state. Meanwhile, I'm pretty sure Trump thinks Frederick Douglass was in Boys II Men."

You can watch the rest of Meyers' "Closer Look," heavy on Hurricane Irma, below. Peter Weber

August 15, 2017

Stephen Colbert introduced his guest on Monday's Late Show, Anthony Scaramucci, as the "shortest-tenured communications director in White House history," and Jon Batiste welcomed him onstage with Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," and things got off to an unusual start, with Scaramucci jokingly threatening to murder Colbert's writers, Game of Thrones-style. "I promised you no gotcha questions," Colbert began, "but I'm gonna lead with one: Nazis, good or bad?" "Super bad," Scaramucci said, and they turned to Trump's decision not to criticize white supremacists until Monday.

Scaramucci said Trump should have denounced them Saturday, but insisted he's "a compassionate person," suggested Trump did not initially condemn the Nazis because the media expected him to, and said Trump deserved some credit for doing it on Monday. "Two days later?" Colbert asked. "Does he order his spine on Amazon Prime?"

Colbert asked him what it was like inside the White House, because "from the outside, it looks like a dumpster fire." "It's a tough place, there is a lot of infighting," Scaramucci said. "Whatever you think about me, I was pretty open about how I felt about people," he added drily, but the other Trump aides would go behind your back or leak to the press for political gain. Colbert got him to open up a bit about his tense relationship with former chief of staff, Reince Preibus, and another aide Scaramucci thinks is a leaker, Stephen Bannon. He declined to speculate if Bannon was about to get sacked, but did say, "if it was up to me, he would be gone." They ended with a discussion of his most infamous quote about Bannon.

"Are there elements of white supremacy within the White House right now?" Colbert asked after the break. "Is Steve Bannon a white supremacist?" "I don't think he's a white supremacist, although I've never asked him," Scaramucci said. "What I don't like, though, is the toleration of it." Colbert asked if Scaramucci felt "burned or backstabbed" by his short stint in the White House, and he said no. "Well, let me put it this way," he added. "When you take a job like that, Stephen, you know that your expiration date is coming. I didn't think I was going to last too long, but I thought that I would last longer than, like, a carton of milk." "You were like a bag of raw shrimp," Colbert suggested. Peter Weber

August 10, 2017

Although President Trump likes to insist he is the most active and accomplished president in generations, many of his executive orders have been blocked by federal judges. "Lady Justice, such a nasty woman." Samantha Bee said on Wednesday's Full Frontal. But Trump is making his move, and he has more than 120 vacancies — or 15 percent of the federal judiciary — he can try to fill with the conservative judges he has been nominating, Bee said, taking her first shot of the evening.

There are so many empty benches because when Barack Obama was president, Republicans blocked a record number of his nominations, she noted, including a spot on the Supreme Court that Trump was able to fill. "This is the prize for which the GOP is willing to sacrifice its honor, its principles, and its underwear comfort: a conservative judiciary for decades to come," Bee said. Trump's picks are not only far-right in their views, but young — federal judgeships are lifetime appointments — and overwhelmingly white. He's even nominated white judges for Obama's never-confirmed black nominees, she said, "which would be like replacing the leads of Atlanta and Insecure with the leads from Hawaii 5-0, and then never canceling the show, ever."

At this point, Bee wasn't the only one drinking on stage. She introduced two of Trump's nominees, noting the perhaps one silver lining: They may have "an old man's worldview," but they pair that with "a young man's need to blurt it all over the internet." The video is mostly safe for work, and you can watch below. Peter Weber

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