Is Donald Trump heading into panic mode over reports that Robert Mueller wants to ask him about obstruction of justice? On late-night television, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah seem to think so.
The most political of the late-night comedians, these three have been following the ups and downs and bizarre turns of the Trump administration since day one, and as Noah put it, “Every time I think Trump has hit peak weirdness, he gets a little bit weirder.”
They found themselves wondering why Trump went on a tweetstorm over the past several days and why he seems to be staging more rallies so he can tout his election victory of two years ago in front of throngs of adoring fans. Is this just more of the president’s usual erratic and unpredictable behavior, or are he and his team starting to freak out just a little bit?
Is the Mueller investigation making them nervous? Is Trump worried about the obstruction he never committed but if he did it’s not a crime anyway so why don’t we just shut the investigation down already. Or something like that; he’s really hard to follow sometimes.
“Late Night with Seth Meyers”
Seth Meyers noted that Trump has again expressed his own interest in speaking with Mueller, if just to help bring his investigation to a close. “Oh yes, please do that,” Meyers said. “That would be like when the cops show up at your party and your drunkest friend is like, ‘I’ll talk to ’em. What do you stupid idiots want?'”
He then tried to imagine how Trump might respond if Mueller were to ask him directly about obstruction of justice. “It’s easy. First you fire the FBI director,” he said in his Trump impression.
Later, Meyers took a deeper dive into what’s been going on in the White House, and the president’s seemingly changing strategy. “He’s gone all the way from insisting he had nothing to do with Russia to saying there was no collusion to claiming that even if there was collusion it’s not a crime to demanding that the investigation be shut down,” Meyers marveled. “He’s like a murder suspect who says, ‘I didn’t kill anyone. And besides, it was self defense.'”
He then took note of Trump’s problematic tweet that has people arguing over whether it crosses the line into obstruction or not.
..This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
Meyers played a clip of Rudy Giuliani speaking to reporters and noting that the president used the word “should” instead of “must,” meaning this was just an opinion, and not an order of any kind.
“I’m sorry, do you really think Donald Trump is going to agonize over the difference between should and must?” Meyers asked. “A couple weeks ago, he called his wife Melanie. Yesterday, he misspelled the word smoking. He’s not sitting over parchment dipping a quill into an inkwell debating which word to use, ‘Thou ought– No, thou shalt.'”
“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”
It was another tweet that caught he eye of Trevor Noah over on Comedy Central, where Trump attempted to defend his former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who’s trial for tax fraud is currently underway. In the tweet, Trump inexplicably referred to Capone by his full first name.
Looking back on history, who was treated worse, Alfonse Capone, legendary mob boss, killer and “Public Enemy Number One,” or Paul Manafort, political operative & Reagan/Dole darling, now serving solitary confinement – although convicted of nothing? Where is the Russian Collusion?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
“Every time I think Trump has hit peak weirdness, he gets a little bit weirder. Like, is that just his thing?” Noah wondered. “Is he like, ‘And then, I was talking to Kimberly Kardashian and she was so grateful for how I helped her husband, Kanye Westeros?'”
He also took issue, though, with Giuliani’s defense of his boss over word choice. “Rudy Giuliani is making it sound like a suggestion and that Trump is not Jeff Sessions’ boss and the most powerful man in the world,” he pointed out. “It’s like Darth Vader telling you, ‘You should really consider joining the Dark Side. But no pressure.'”
White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders used a different tactic to explain Trump’s tweets, saying, “The president is not obstructing. He’s just fighting back.”
“Fighting back against an investigation of you is obstructing,” Noah said in exasperation, stunned that they don’t seem to realize this.
“The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”
Stephen Colbert had every confidence in the president’s ability to take care of the investigation all by himself, if he could just get into the room with old Bob Mueller. He pictured Trump using his vaunted negotiation skills to lay down his case and wrap it up within seconds.
“Bob, look, have you seen my tweets,” Colbert said in his Trump impression. “This one has witch hunt in all caps. I rest my case. Do you want to arrest yourself or should I slap the cuffs on you right now?”
Sounds like this one is an open and shut case.