Late-night hosts on Wednesday discussed president Trump’s handling of the North Korean threat and a new book by Joshua Green on Steve Bannon’s rise to power.
“It’s great to be here tonight,” began Stephen Colbert. “It’s great to be anywhere tonight, because tensions are building between president Donald Trump and North Korean president and disappointed volleyball Kim Jung-un.
“If you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of days, I hope it’s lined with lead because this past weekend the UN imposed harsh sanctions on North Korea to try to get them to curb their nuclear program,” the host explained. “North Korea responded by threatening revenge on the US, so renowned deal artist Donald Trump saw the threat of apocalypse and raised them one armageddon.”
Colbert then showed the now infamous clip of the president threatening North Korea with “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen before”.
“Oh, we’ve seen it before,” Colbert shot back. “You know what else we’ve seen? You using that phrase.” Colbert then showed numerous clips showing Trump employing the phrase in relation to a number of topics, like the opioid crisis and infrastructure in airports. “That is empty rhetoric, the likes of which you always use,” Colbert continued. “It’s good to know our president sees the fire of nuclear war as being on the same level as a nice airport he went to.
“Apparently Trump improvised fire and fury because the paper he had in front of him was an opioid fact sheet,” Cobert went on. “Trump’s message of ‘don’t threaten us, we will rain down fire and fury’, was so intimidating that North Korea immediately threatened a missile strike on the US territory of Guam. Look, North Korea: leave Guam out of this. They’re a US territory, that means they don’t participate in the US elections. They didn’t vote for Trump, just like most Americans.”
Seth Meyers of NBC also addressed simmering tensions with the North Korean government, exacerbated by the president’s cavalier usage of his Twitter feed.
“The international community is struggling to contain the rapidly escalating threats of North Korea’s nuclear program,” he began. “And one big obstacle they’re facing is the fact that no one takes the president of the United States seriously.
“It’s an extremely tense, delicate situation that requires calm diplomacy and sober deliberation,” Meyers continued. “Unfortunately, we elected a human bullhorn with a corn syrup addiction.
“When you respond to North Korea, you’re not supposed to sound like North Korea,” Meyers said, making reference to Trump’s “fire and fury” statement and its resemblance to Kim’s frequent use of fear-mongering rhetoric. “Obama didn’t respond to Putin’s hacking by riding shirtless on horseback, even though everyone would’ve loved that.”
Meyers continued: “This morning Trump seemed to double down on his remarks in a series of ominous tweets about the US nuclear arsenal. And it wasn’t just that the content was ominous, but the way he posted them.”
Trump’s first tweet suggested the US nuclear arsenal was “stronger and more powerful than ever before”. He added an ellipsis at the end but waited seven minutes to post another tweet.
“Hey man, you can’t put an ellipsis after a tweet about nuclear weapons,” Meyers responded. “And look, he’s probably doing it because he knows it’s more dramatic this way, but for me, I’m just going to imagine that he’s too exhausted to do two tweets in a row. Trump is talking tough on North Korea, but if this week has shown anything, it’s that we have a president who is temperamentally unfit to deal with a situation like this.”
Finally, Samantha Bee discussed the warring factions within the administration, as the far right has upped its attacks on HR McMaster.
“Welcome to another carefree day in the world of late-night comedy,” she began before addressing Trump’s threat to North Korea. “I’m sure our president is carefully monitoring this crisis from his situation cart in Where The Fuck, New Jersey. But I actually unironically want to thank him for, at the very least, hiring a sane person, HR McMaster, to replace that dangerous fucking nutbag with the Pizzagate son.
“Things may seem scary right now, but as long there’s one grownup in a White House full of children, reality stars and Huckabees, we should be fine,” she added, before moving discussing a new book by Joshua Green, called Devil’s Bargain, on senior advisor Steve Bannon’s rise to power.
“Steve has been out of public view lately,” she said. “If I could suck my own cock I’d probably never leave my bedroom either. Since I can’t, I spend my time reading.
“Devil’s Bargain traces Steve Bannon’s rise from working-class kid to powerful hand of the king with tiny hands,” she started. “This is the true story of how Steve Bannon brought the alt-right into our world like a reverse Buffy standing at the hellmouth saying, ‘Come on in, demons!’”
Bee continued: “It was 2005, six years before he ever met Trump, and Steve Bannon joined a gold framing company that employed warehouses full of Chinese workers to win prizes in World of Warcraft and then sell them back to real players for real money.
“Gamer message boards revealed enough butt-hurt penis goblins to catch Steve’s gimlet eye,” Bee quipped. “A few years later Steve took over Breitbart after its founder was murdered by Hillary Clin – I’m sorry, died of natural causes. He set about turbocharging the website’s white populist agenda and ‘fuck everyone’ attitudes.
“Thanks to his Warcraft days dealing with elves, trolls, and goblins, Bannon was more than qualified to lead the Trump campaign team when Rebekah Mercer ordered Trump to hire him,” Bee explained. “Having freed the very unsullied from their fringe enclaves, the mother of Pepe’s gave them something to fight for. Well, something to fight against – specifically, a woman.”
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