On Thursday, the government did something most Americans opposed and there was chaos and drama at the White House — so, just your average day in Washington.
On Thursday's Late Night with Seth Meyers, the host examined the Federal Communications Commission's deeply unpopular decision to repeal former President Barack Obama's net neutrality rules, as well as Chairman Ajit Pai's love of gigantic coffee mugs and the term "light touch regulation." While this is huge news, it's being overshadowed by the drama surrounding former Apprentice villain Omarosa Manigault Newman's exit from her role as director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison.
The White House announced her departure on Wednesday, and it's been reported Chief of Staff John Kelly made the decision to fire her, with President Trump signing off. In an interview Thursday, Manigault Newman said she notified Kelly she was resigning while in the Situation Room, which impressed Meyers. "Wow, the Situation Room," he said. "Though I have a feeling any room Omarosa goes into becomes a Situation Room. You know it's bad when they have to fire you in the same place they killed Osama bin Laden." He then played clips of pundits reacting to the news of Manigault Newman's exit, plus a bonus of Good Morning America's Robin Roberts giving her the shadiest "bye Felicia." "I wish all news anchors signed off that way," Meyers said. "That's how Edward R. Murrow should have signed off during the McCarthy era. 'Good night, good luck, and bye Felicia.'" Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia
During eight hours of testimony to the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. said he couldn't go into detail on a conversation he had with his father, citing attorney-client privilege. Seth Meyers, citing common sense, took issue with this on Thursday's Late Night.
Trump Jr. was referring to discussions he had with President Trump over the summer, after it was revealed that in June 2016, he met with Kremlin-linked Russians in Trump Tower. Trump Jr. first tried to make it seem like an innocuous get together, but it later came out that he agreed to the meeting after being promised damaging information. Trump Jr. told the committee since there was a lawyer in the room when he talked to his dad, everything he said is subject to attorney-client privilege. "That's not how it works," Meyers said. "Don Jr.'s the kind of guy who, if he heard his college roommate hooking up with someone in their dorm, would run into the hallways and yell, 'I just had a threesome!'"
Meyers also touched on the other big news of the day — Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) resigning after several women accused him of sexual harassment. Democrats called on him to step down, in contrast to the Republican National Committee and Trump throwing their support behind GOP Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, who has been accused by several women of sexual misconduct while they were teens and he was in his early 30s. "Sexual harassment should be nonpartisan," Meyers said, but when Kellyanne Conway is involved, up is down and there's strange talk about apples and bananas — watch the video below to find out why she invoked fruit in an argument during a recent CNN appearance. Catherine Garcia
If Matt Lauer is looking for sympathy in the wake of his firing from Today over inappropriate sexual behavior, he's not going to find any with Seth Meyers.
On Thursday's Late Night, Meyers ripped into Lauer and the allegations made against him in a Variety article. Among other things, Lauer allegedly gave a female colleague a sex toy, accompanied by a note saying that he wanted to use it on her. "As a general rule, if you're giving someone a dildo at work, you're the dildo at work," Meyers said.
He also took issue with someone installing a button under Lauer's desk that let him lock the door without getting up — "if someone asks you to install a button under their desk, just nod and then report it to the police" — and scoffed at Lauer's purported fondness for a game of "F—k, Marry, or Kill." "I don't know who you said you'd marry in those conversations, but I do know you killed your career and f—ked yourself," he said. Meyers didn't just go off on Lauer — he also had words for men who think unsuspecting women want to see them in their underwear (they don't) and President Trump, who isn't making a whole lot of sense these days. Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia
"Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been holding a lot of press briefings lately, but I don't think all the questions we need answered have been asked," Seth Meyers said on Tuesday's Late Night. So he held another one where the Late Night press corps could ask its own questions — and Sanders would respond in ways Meyers and his editors found appropriate (or, mostly, inappropriate). Meyers elicited answers about President Trump, his wife, children Eric and Ivanka Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Sen. Bernie Sanders.
When Sarah Huckabee Sanders was allowed a question, about what reporters are thankful for, Meyers poked a little fun at himself, too. "I'm thankful we can use clever editing to make this nightmare of an administration sound silly," he said. "You're not fixing the problem, you're only making things worse," Sanders responded. "That's fair," Meyers said, after a pause. You can watch the entire press briefing below. Peter Weber
Stephen Colbert started his interview with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday's Late Show by commiserating about President Trump, and then he threw her a curveball, noting that Warren and Trump both agree the 2016 Democratic primaries were "rigged." Warren took the opportunity to "clarify" her comments to CNN's Jake Tapper, then more cheerfully turned to the Democratic mini-wave in 2017, and her party's — and her own — chances in 2018, when she's up for re-election. "What about 2020?" Colbert asked, nodding to Warren's possible presidential aspirations.
She didn't bite. Democrats have to fight hard now, this week, Warren said, pointing to the GOP tax plan, which she called "$1.5 trillion in giveaways for giant corporations, for billionaires," paid for by working families. "This is about numbers, but it's about values," she said. "I don't believe one middle class person in America should have her taxes raised in order to do tax giveaways to billionaires and giant corporations."
Colbert played devil's advocate, earning a groan from the crowd and an eye-roll from Warren by bringing up trickle-down economics. "We have the data — trickle-down doesn't work," Warren said. "When you help the rich get richer, the rich get richer, and they keep it." CEOs have been admitting that on earnings calls for months, she added, urging people to call lawmakers, tweet, and take to the streets.
Colbert asked Warren if she thinks Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) should step down. She said she "was just enormously disappointed about this," but Franken will answer his "serious" sexual harassment allegations before the Senate Ethics Committee. "We're going to watch this thing play out with famous men," Warren said, but the big question is if this "moment in America" will be just "a big flash and then nothing really changes." We'll know this change is real, she said, when jerks in the office no longer feel it is safe to sexually harass their female coworkers or employees. Peter Weber
President Trump is back in the United States after a trip to Asia that was rather unremarkable, Seth Meyers said on Tuesday's Late Night, except for "the time he taunted a nuclear-armed nation on Twitter and bro-ed out with Vladimir Putin."
While that was happening abroad, at home, Trump's inner circle was dealing with more fallout from the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. It came out on Monday that Donald Trump Jr. communicated with WikiLeaks during the campaign, but that should come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention, Meyers said. "Don Jr. is the dumbest member of a family in which there is stiff competition," he quipped. "That family still hasn't finished a game of Trivial Pursuit they started in 1988."
While this revelation makes Eric Trump look good, it's another cloud hanging over President Trump in regard to Russia. It's a good thing he has Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, who sang Trump a love song during his stop in Manila. Watch the video below for more on Trump Jr. and a brief clip of Duterte's singing, described by Meyers as being "a human rights violation." Catherine Garcia
When Joe Biden was last on The Late Show, he was vice president and Donald Trump president-elect, Stephen Colbert reminded Biden on Monday, and he said we should give Trump a shot to do the job. "Have we given him enough of a shot at this point?" Colbert asked. Biden said he reached a tipping point with Trump's response to the white supremacists and neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, and could no longer stay silent.
There has been a lot of talk about not "normalizing" Trump's behavior, "but whoever is the president is de facto presidential," Colbert said. "What do you think has changed about the presidency with him being president? ... How will this influence future presidencies?" "I think, God willing, it will go down as the single exception in American history," Biden said. After the novelty of the Trump show wore off, lots of Americans began to worry about the stability of the Republic, and "but for 74,500 votes ... we'd have a good president," he said. "We're talking about this like it was a wave election." "Only he is," Colbert cut in, getting a laugh from Biden.
Colbert and Biden then turned to Biden's new book, Promise Me, Dad, about staying engaged during and after grief. Finally, Colbert brought up 2020.
"I'm not going to ask you if you're going to run for president because I know you're not going to give me an answer," Colbert said, and when Biden shrugged, he asked anyway, soliciting a non-answer. "The country's never been more divided, we need a unifier," Colbert said. "Who do you like in the Democratic field, or the Republican field? Who do you think in 2020 could go, that person has a hope of uniting people?" Biden didn't name any names, but he said there's a whole new generation of Democrats entering politics, sick of the division, and the 2020 election won't really start for years. Watch below. Peter Weber
President Trump has been touting the GOP tax plan as a wonderful thing for the middle class, but in reality, Seth Meyers said on Thursday's Late Night, it will benefit the ultra wealthy — like Trump.
"The only thing that would be more beneficial to Donald Trump is a tax break that lets you claim your defendants as dependents," Meyers said. Trying to pass tax reform is a last-ditch effort for Republicans to get something done before the year is over, he said, and it shouldn't be that difficult for a group that has crowed about fixing the tax system for years and years. "Tax cuts are to the Republican Party what 'Piano Man' is to Billy Joel," Meyers said. "Whenever they think they're losing the crowd and people are heading for the exits, they can break that one out and everybody's gonna sing along."
Meyers went into some detail on how the House Republicans' plan would affect the middle class — decreasing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent results in a $1 trillion loss of revenue, and to make that up, important deductions that help residents in states like California and New Jersey, like the state and local tax deduction, would be eliminated. What's not touched? A tax break for golf club owners, which would directly benefit Trump. Watch the video below for more on the tax plan, and for Meyers' oddly accurate impression of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Catherine Garcia