"I've got good news and I've got bad news," Stephen Colbert, "that guy from CBS," said on Tuesday's Late Show. "The bad news is I lied, there's no good news." In a 5-4 vote Tuesday, the Supreme Court "fell for" President Trump's argument that his Muslim ban was really a "travel ban," he explained. "Oooh, 5-4 — this close to being able to look our grandchildren in the eye." Chief Justice John Roberts ignored all of Trump's anti-Muslim comments to reach his decision and ruled that Trump's campaign rhetoric may not be legally determinative. "So the things he said during the campaign may not be true?" Colbert deadpanned. "Wait! Does that mean he's not making America great?"
Trump celebrated the decision on Twitter and with congressional Republicans, then laid out his new immigration plan: "I'm sorry, you can't come in." Hey, Colbert said, "stop stealing your ideas from the sign on Melania's door." Trump also offered some puzzling thoughts on finding immigration judges. "All right, who had 'Make barbers judges' on their Trump meltdown pool?" Colbert asked. "I was close; I had 'Appoint golden retriever to the Supreme Court.'"
Late Night's Seth Meyers also found Trump's comments about judges puzzling, focusing on a Trump rally Monday night in South Carolina. "What other country has judges?" he repeated. "Lots of them — most other countries. In the Netherlands, they even have judges at a special court in The Hague, and who knows? Maybe you'll get to meet them someday." Meyers put the Supreme Court upholding the Muslim ban among the ways "Trump and the GOP only care about seizing political power and then using it to restrict the rights of marginalized people." You can watch his "closer look" below. Peter Weber
The Trump administration still hasn't said "what they're going to do to put these stolen [migrant] kids back together with their parents, and no indication that they could successfully do so," Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. "So, 23andme is donating DNA kits to help reunite migrant families." He suggested they check President Trump's DNA, too, to "find out what species can survive that long without a heart." Even migrant children lucky enough to be reunited with their families face a long time in detention due to a backlog in immigration cases. "Now, the obvious answer is hire more judges to deal with the backlog," Colbert said. "But Trump has a different answer," skipping the whole judge and court thing and moving straight to deportation.
"Here's the thing: If you deny anyone due process, you deny everyone due process," he said. "If you can't show your documents to a judge, your passport is as useless as your Blockbuster card. Being identified as a suspect is the same as being guilty." The Supreme Court has consistently held that everyone in the U.S. has Fifth and 14th Amendment due process rights, even unlawful immigrants, and Colbert imagined Trump's reply to that: "Well, what do you expect from the Failing U.S. Constitution? Low Energy founding fathers had terrible ratings. None of them — not many people know this — none of then were born in the United States. I say we ship them back to the 13 colonies.'"
We may not know when the kids will be reunited with their parents, but we know they are required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. "You can't make migrant children recite the Pledge of Allegiance to a country where they're not welcome!" Colbert protested. "That would be like if a job recruiter for Chili's said, 'We don't hire your kind here — now please sing, 'I want my baby-back, baby-back, baby-back.'" Watch below. Peter Weber
"Everyone has been blaming President Trump for this week's border crisis, but it wasn't his idea alone," Trevor Noah said on Wednesday's Daily Show. "We can also thank Trump's senior policy adviser Stephen Miller." He brought out Michael Kosta and asked him how Miller, the architect of Trump's harshest immigration policies, could "support causing so much pain?" Kosta mocked him: "Calm down, snowflakes, okay? What you've got to understand is, riling up liberals is Stephen Miller's thing." And then in the guise of pointing out how Miller is impervious to insults from the "libs," they both spent the next few minutes absolutely wrecking Miller.
On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert interviewed him — or, rather, actor Peter Grosz doing his most dead-eyed Miller impersonation — about the "next draconian move" he's been planning, now that Trump is rolling back his family-separation policy. (Miller "actually enjoys seeing those pictures at the border," a White House adviser told Vanity Fair, Colbert noted. "He's a twisted guy, the way he was picked on.") "What could be harsher than putting kids in a cage?" Colbert asked "Miller," who responded: "Well, putting one kid in many cages! I'm just joking of course, Stephen. Just like Seinfeld. What is the deal?!?" You can watch more of their stylized awkward banter below. Peter Weber
Stephen Colbert is glad Trump 'folded like an origami Trump casino' on splitting up families, but not satisfied
"Our long national nightmare is ... different," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show, "because after weeks of tearing families apart at the border, and then falsely insisting that only Congress could solve the problem," President Trump realized he didn't like how the policy made him feel and took a stab at ending it. He ribbed Trump for insisting this couldn't be done through an executive order, and then signing an executive order to do it. But "here's the thing," Colbert said. "Trump made it a big signing ceremony to make it look like he did something good instead of admitting he was just ending the evil thing he started."
Yes, Trump is "reuniting families — in prison," maybe, "but even if this was the perfect plan — and it's not," Colbert said, "none of these folks in the administration or anyone who defended them are off the moral meathook here. Because they didn't change this policy because they thought they were wrong — they changed it because it made 70 percent of Americans sick to their stomach. And make no mistake: Trump folded. He folded like an origami Trump casino." That's a first, he added, and the final straw was probably the "tender age" shelters for seized babies and toddlers. And caging babies "was hurting the most vulnerable," Colbert deadpanned: "Members of the Trump administration."
The Late Show imagined Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's interrupted Mexican dinner out as a very bad first date.
Colbert also spared a thought for Corey Lewandowski, "hung out to dry by Trump's ethical backpedal" for going "all in on the evil" and attaching his name forever to mocking disabled children in cages with the sad-trombone sound. "For those of you keeping track of Trump's three campaign mangers," he said, "one was 'womp womp' right there, the other guy's in jail now, and the third is Steve Bannon, the nice one?" Watch below. Peter Weber
Stephen Colbert has some words for the people defending Trump's child-separation policy. Seth Meyers has questions.
President Trump's new policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border is still dominating the news, and "there are two ways to look at this story: Either you can be horrified, or you can work for Donald Trump," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. He started with Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who opted out of Monday's press briefing, handing the show to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen because she didn't want to field questions about splitting apart families. Colbert wasn't sympathetic: "Sarah, you think you don't want to talk about child separation policy? Try doing it on a comedy show. 'Oh, you must love the Trump administration, Stephen — the sadness just writes itself.'"
"Your administration owns locking up children," Colbert told Sanders. "But if kids in cages is too much for you to defend, there is one option: You could resign. This is the White House, not an abandoned Walmart — you're allowed to leave." Still, he added, "there are some people who have no reservations about publicly defending Trump's monstrous policy — for instance, the monster in chief." He annotated and fact-checked his way through Trump's speech to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, ending with Trump's embrace of the American flag: "Oh say, can you see — that was not consensual. If only those colors could run."
"Of course, Trump isn't the only one defending the indefensible," Colbert said, sadly mocking Fox News host Laura Ingraham's "summer camp" analogy. "The point is, you can't hide from the horror," he said. "Our president is everywhere, literally." Even in the clouds.
Seth Meyers, unimpressed with the Trump team's response to anything, held his own White House press briefing on Tuesday's Late Night, and his "question" to Sanders about Germany was particularly cutting. Watch below. Peter Weber
Stephen Colbert highlights the absurdity of Trump blaming Democrats for his own family-separation policy
The big political story is still President Trump's policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, plus Trump's continued insistence on falsely blaming the Democrats. The Late Show highlighted the absurdity of Trump's talking point with a parody of his Monday morning news conference featuring Friday the 13th's Jason Voorhees, who also blamed the Democrats for his murderous machete rampages of teen campers.
Stephen Colbert read one of Trump's tweet blaming the Democrats and imagined a cheer to go with his "WIN!" coda: "'Two, four, six, eight, who do we incarcerate? Kids! Gooooo into the cages.' Yeah, ended sad, didn't it," he said. "There are two things wrong with this. One, if it was a law, Republicans are in control of everything — they can fix it. Second of all, it's not a law. This is a policy. It's just another scoop from your chum bucket of cruelty." Trump defended his policy at a Space Force announcement Monday, saying the U.S. "will not be a migrant camp" and "will not be a refugee holding facility." "No, it will be the all-baby reboot of The Shawshank Redemption," Colbert said, and he had a movie poster.
"Not everyone in the administration blames this policy on the Democrats; some say the policy doesn't even exist," Colbert said, specifically pointing to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. Others, like Stephen Miller, tout it loud and proud. Fox & Friends is happy to call a "cage" a "security pen," and Border Patrol says the "cage" description is accurate but uncomfortable-making. "Oh, it's accurate — that's what's making them uncomfortable," Colbert said. "Trump's defenders are wrong, and they are bad, but it's important to give the Devil his due — he's a sponsor. So it's time for our new segment, 'The Devil's Advocate.'" Do not watch the last minute or so if you are on hallucinogenic drugs. Otherwise, the video's below. Peter Weber
Trevor Noah finds the real Trump immigration scandal among the fakes. Jordan Klepper blames Democrats.
Social media was aflame with stories about President Trump's immigration policies over the long weekend, and not all of them were exactly 100 percent correct — like the idea that Trump's Department of Health and Human Services "lost" nearly 1,500 immigrant children. Trevor Noah started out Tuesday's Daily Show with a little liberal truth-squadding. "Let's take a breath, let's read past headlines before we start sharing misleading stories that Trump will use to discredit all other news," he said. "Just so we're on the same page, Trump didn't lose 1,500 kids and his administration didn't put those kids in cages, all right? But don't worry, you can still hate him, because he and his administration have started doing something that is way worse."
When his new policy of separating parents and kids "first started, I think President Trump was probably thrilled with it," Noah said. "He was, like, 'We're taking kids away from parents — pack you bags, Eric, we're going to the border. Come on, Eric, let's go!' But as it turns out, the blowback from this policy has been so fierce that now even President Trump is going, 'Uh, it wasn't me.'" Still, blaming Democrats? "Even for Trump, that's at terrible lie," Noah said. "But that's just to tell you how awful this real policy is — this is the first thing ever Trump doesn't want to put his name on."
At The Opposition, Jordan Klepper was happy to square the circle: "That's right — it's his own administration's policy, and Democrats are to blame. What's so confusing about that? Maybe my trusty gaslight can shed some light on this." First, however, he fake-defended the policy: "If you don't want to lose your child to the government, don't bring them across the border. And if you don't want to lose them to drug cartels, don't stay where you are. It's like an immigrant Catch-22 — which is also ICE's hourly quota." Watch below. Peter Weber
Jimmy Kimmel tries to explain why Trump is sending the National Guard to the border, using a coffee cart
On Wednesday evening, President Trump signed a nebulous proclamation to send the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border. "And this comes at a very interesting time, because in February, less than two months ago, he tweeted, '45 year low on illegal border crossings this year. ICE and Border Patrol agents are doing a great job for our country,'" Jimmy Kimmel noted on Wednesday's Kimmel Live. "So even though border crossings are at the lowest they've been since 1971, and everyone's doing a great job, he's sending in the National Guard. And I'm sure the members of the National Guard are thrilled that they will be now spending their weekends in Nogales, standing next to a cactus."
It isn't entirely clear why Trump is doing this, Kimmel said, but "to try to make some sense of it, it's time for a special 'illegal immigration' edition of Barista Theatre." The skit didn't entirely make sense — that's probably the point — and it ended with a cameo by Guillermo. Watch below. Peter Weber