Late-night hosts on Trump firing Tillerson: 'The strange part of this is everything'

The Guardian Politics 3 months ago

Late-night hosts discussed Donald Trump’s surprise firing of Rex Tillerson and the unusual way in which it unfolded.

Stephen Colbert

On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert announced himself as “the one person Donald Trump hasn’t fired”.

He joked that “the strange part of this is everything” while discussing Trump’s decision to fire the secretary of state via Twitter.

“It’s too bad Twitter wasn’t around when Trump ended his first two marriages,” he said. “Back then he had to do it by fax.”

The news was seen as especially odd given the timing. It occurred the day after Tillerson agreed with Theresa May about Russian involvement in the death of a spy. “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck the duck probably has something on your boss so kill it with nerve agent,” he joked.

During Tillerson’s emotional farewell speech, he reminded those remaining in the government that they need to remember why they are there. “It’s not that comforting that the secretary of state has to remind government employees that they work for the constitution,” he said. “That’s like the retiring administrator of a hospital saying ‘I just want to remind the surgeons, yes, you’ve got a lot of knives but they’re not for stabbing people.’”

A Republican-led House investigation has found that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, a result that disagreed with all other reports. “After a yearlong investigation, they have examined all the evidence and concluded that they do not want to be sprayed with a nerve agent,” he said.

Trevor Noah

On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah briefly recapped the ups and downs of Trump and Tillerson’s stances on North Korea. While Tillerson had originally suggested talks were possible, Trump disagreed. Tillerson changed his messaging to fall in line with this and then Trump changed his mind.

“These are some serious mind games,” he said. “It’s like Trump was trying to get Tillerson to break up with him.”

During Trump’s interview with the press, he claimed that Tillerson would be much happier now that he has left his position. “Trump is right,” he said. “Rex Tillerson will be much happier now. Everyone who leaves the White House ends up happier.”

Tillerson was reportedly unsure about originally taking on the job but it was his wife who urged him to say yes. “Some wives ask their man to take out the garbage,” he said. “This one told Tillerson to go live in it.”

Seth Meyers

On Late Night with Seth Meyers, the host also spoke about the decision to fire Tillerson via Twitter. “Even when you get fired from Domino’s, the manager takes you into that crappy little office and tells you to your face,” he said. “Tweets are for finding out which band is in town or which airline was mean to Chrissy Teigen.”

Meyers noted that it was similar to the firing of James Comey. “Basically, if you’re over six feet tall, Trump wants no part of giving you bad news,” he joked. “That’s why he’s jumping at the chance to meet Kim Jong-un.”

He then went on to describe Tillerson. “He had the energy of a 14-year-old bloodhound on his third mint julep,” he said. “He always looked like he was walking through a fart cloud.”

He called the firing of Tillerson “the end of this myth that serious people can rein in Donald Trump” and said he felt sympathy “the same way I feel sympathy when someone gets attacked by a gorilla at the zoo”.

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