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Late Night Tackles Trump and Hate Crimes
March 19, 2019

After Friday's terrorist attack by a white supremacist on two mosques in New Zealand, President Trump phoned his condolences to New Zealand's prime minister, but expressing "sympathy and love for all Muslim communities," as she asked, is "not really Trump's brand," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. "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, ever condemns the racists."

Colbert listed some of Trump's past words and actions. "I'm just saying if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then why does it goose-stepping?" he asked. White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney spent much of Sunday on TV insisting Trump is not a white supremacist, saying at one point, "I don't think anybody could say that the president is anti-Muslim." Colbert accepted the challenge: "The president is anti-Muslim. What did I win?"

"The president is anti-Muslim — yep, that was not hard at all," Seth Meyers agreed on Late Night. "Trump's aides have been trying to memory-hole his long history of racism and Islamophobia," but "asking Trump if he sees white nationalism as a threat is like asking Joe Camel if he sees tobacco as a threat." He also agreed with George Conway's diagnosis of Trump's weekend tweets, saying they "would make more sense if they were scribbled on the wall of a psych ward."

On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah said he doesn't blame Trump for the New Zealand shooting, exactly. Just like "I don't think you can pin any one storm on directly on climate change," he said, "I don't think he's the cause of any of these things, but he does in some ways raise the temperature enough that we'll see more of these things happening." And Trump and the New Zealand shooter "are products of the same white supremacy, they believe the same things," Noah said. Watch below. Peter Weber

October 30, 2018

The alleged package bomber and Pittsburgh synagogue mass-murderer both showed a certain fixation with the "caravan" of Honduran migrants 1,000 miles south of the U.S. border, which President "Trump and his friends falsely claim is funded by Jewish billionaire George Soros," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. "Now if you're wondering where two fringe lunatics could latch onto the same racist conspiracy theory, I'll give you a hint: It's Fox News."

"No one understands this caravan issue better than That Which Was Once Lou Dobbs," Colbert said. He played a clip of the Fox Business host trying to pronounce the name of some Mexican city. "Now, there's been a lot of confusion about what town Lou was talking about," he explained. "Some say it was Huixtla, some say Oaxaca, but it turns out it was a different and beautiful town, as shown in this new tourism ad."

At Late Night, Seth Meyers also mocked Dobbs, as part of his larger, withering look at Trump's reaction to last week's attacks. "Dobbs may be the most unhinged conspiracy theorist on Fox — which is saying a lot," Meyers said. "And not only is the president one of Dobbs' most loyal viewers, he actually includes Dobbs in major decisions." He also played a clip where Dobbs "tries to get through this segment, has trouble reading, and just gives up."

Meyers was especially irked at the Trump supporters blaming "both sides" for the heated, violent rhetoric: "It's not both sides! Only one side is repeating deranged conspiracy theories accusing Democrats of orchestrating an immigrant invasion, calling the press the 'enemy of the people,' and encouraging violence. Trump literally re-enacted a body slam against a reporter at one of his rallies."

The Late Show also checked in on the Boston Red Sox and their vanquished World Series rivals, the L.A. Dodgers. The Dodgers seemed just fine losing a White House visit. Watch below. Peter Weber

October 30, 2018

"On Saturday in Pittsburgh, at the Tree of Life synagogue, a mass shooter murdered 11 worshippers," in "the worst act of violence against Jewish people in U.S. history," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. "It's tragic, it's sickening, and our thoughts are with the victims, their families, and the larger Jewish community. But more than that, I want to say hate is not what America stands for. And tonight, all of us are with you." He highlighted some real-world examples of that support.

"Naturally, in times like these, our nation looks to its president for comfort and guidance," Colbert said. "That's our first mistake." He noted Trump first suggesting the synagogue should have had an armed guard, then Trump's factually incorrect reason for not canceling a rally hours later. "So Trump's instinct when addressing a tragedy was to lie about another tragedy," Colbert said. "I think lying about anything associated with 9/11 is a disqualifier for the presidency — or really, having any job." But Trump did joke about canceling the rally because of his "bad hair day," and Colbert had some thoughts.

"Of course the tragedy this weekend makes the serial bomber last week seem like a lighthearted story from the smile file," Colbert said. So he cracked some jokes about the accused package bomber, Cesar Sayoc, like: "Living out of his van? My God, he's the most successful DJ I know." But were these attacks actually inspired by Trump's "racist fearmongering" and attacks on press and other "enemies"? Colbert asked. He played, then slammed, the White House's denial and Trump's feckless blame-shifting. For example, he deadpanned, "there's no way to know for sure if Sayoc was a fan of President Trump — unless you see him at a Trump rally, or posing in a MAGA hat in front of Trump's bus, or check out his van, which features the world's most MAGA-tastic fan art collage." Watch below. Peter Weber

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