TV’s late-night hosts didn’t have to look far for a monologue topic on Monday, as President Trump’s summit meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin provided more than enough show-opening material.
Seth Meyers, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert all kicked off their Monday broadcasts with criticism of Trump’s trip to Finland, in which he took a private meeting with Putin to discuss Russian interference in the 2016 election, then proceeded to defend Russia in a press conference later that day.
Trump called Putin “extremely strong and powerful” in his denial of Russian interference, and said he doesn’t “see any reason why” Russian hackers would have gotten involved with a U.S. election — despite the recent indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for that exact crime.
“If your name is Vladimir Putin, then today was a very good day,” Noah said on The Daily Show. “Because today, the president of the United States took your side in a fight between you and the United States.”
Noah then showed a clip reel of pundits’ reactions to the Trump-Putin press conference, including one assessment that Trump’s statements were “the most embarrassing performance by an American president” in recent memory.
“Do you know how hard it is to achieve that?” Noah asked. “George H.W. Bush once threw up on the Japanese prime minister, and Trump is now on top.”
In his latest Closer Look segment (embedded above), Late Night host Meyers first focused on some other “disastrous” moments from Trump’s trip abroad, including his decision to walk in front of Queen Elizabeth II (a royal faux pas) at an event in the U.K., and his incoherent answers to journalists’ questions about Brexit.
“But that doesn’t even begin to capture how surreal this summit was. However low your expectations were, Trump managed to go much lower,” Meyers said, later adding that POTUS is “selling out our democracy” by siding with Putin over U.S. intelligence officials.
Kimmel also opened his Live broadcast with an incredulous recap of the summit meeting, summarizing it as “a total win for Putin and a shameful day for America.”
He continued: “If you’re wondering whether or not Vladimir Putin has an incriminating video of Donald Trump, we now know, beyond a treasonable doubt, that he does.”
Colbert, meanwhile, dedicated the first two segments of Monday’s Late Show to the summit meeting, drawing attention to the intense backlash Trump received from fellow Republicans.
After reading a statement from Sen. John McCain, which said “the damage inflicted by President Trump… is difficult to calculate,” Colbert took his best shot at the math, whipping out an actual calculator and punching in Trump’s “egotism, plus naiveté, times false equivalence.” And Colbert got the result he suspected he would: “Yeah, it’s treason.”
Watch the hosts’ Trump takedowns in the videos embedded above, then hit the comments and tell us: Do you agree with their criticism?