“I have a simple but very important question, ” said Stephen Colbert at the start of Monday’s Late Show. “Can we take away Donald Trump’s phone? ”
Trump’s 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 Erdoğan on Sunday and afterward, at 11pm, Trump announced the US would withdraw troops from northern Syria, leaving America’s Kurdish allies alone to face Turkey.
“This is a complete betrayal of the Kurdish fighters who helped the US defeat Isis, ” said Colbert, “and there’s only one way out of this: Kurds, you’ve 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 (I’ve done before! ). ”
“He’s 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: there’s nothing wrong with this call. You didn’t see what you saw. ”
And yet, over the weekend, a second whistleblower has reportedly started working with the first whistleblower’s lawyer and preparing to testify. It’s amazing, said Colbert – “they’re 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 House’s impeachment inquiry. Trump, who doesn’t 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, he’d 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 president’s claim that he is immune from criminal investigations – in this case, one into his tax returns – calling his defense “repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values”.
It might not happen soon, “but I love the irony that we’re gonna release Trump’s tax returns without his consent”, said Kimmel. “We’re just going to grab them by the subpoena and see what happens. ”
We’re now weeks deep into the impeachment investigation engulfing Trump’s 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, you’re 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 it’s 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 can’t blame America’s allies for thinking America’s word ain’t 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. ”
It’s devastating news for the blindsided Kurds, but Noah suggested a remedy: “Kurdish forces, you need to phone Trump, and you have to tell him you have dirt on Joe Biden. But if he wants it he’s going to need to give you military aid. Or as I like to call it, a Kurd pro quo. ”