“After being pressured into reading a carefully scripted statement on Monday, President Trump has spent the rest of the week showing us who he really is,” is how Seth Meyers kicked off another of his consistently strong and indignant “A Closer Look” segments on Tuesday’s Late Night With Seth Meyers. What followed was itself a tightly constructed takedown of Trump’s disastrously revealing statement on the recent racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. One that, in Meyers’ steely summation, indicates that the President of the United States is, inescapably, “a lying racist.”
Harsh words, but Meyers, as they say, brought the receipts. Meyers speculated how Trump, forced on Monday to actually call out the Hitler-saluting, torch-wielding assortment of Nazis, Klansmen, white supremacists, and other unaffiliated braying assholes who terrorized Charlottesville over the weekend and killed a woman, finally unleashed his his inner bigot on live television on Tuesday. (During what was supposed to be a relatively innocuous presser about infrastructure.) Incapable of hiding his petulant narcissism at the very idea that anyone can tell a big boy what to do, Trump defended his initial “many sides” statement, wiping out even the illusion that he meant a damned word he said when reading his Monday teleprompter speech “like a local mattress salesman who insists on doing his own commercials,” according to Meyers. What emerged was pure Trump id—a whiny, tetchy, defiantly racist, media-blaming, full-throated defense of his initial sentiment that there is no difference between Nazis and those opposing Nazis, and that there were “many fine people” involved in the all-white, “alt-right” mob ostensibly protesting the impending removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
“There are no ‘fine people’ marching with Nazis and white supremacists,” stated Meyers, before rolling a clip of Trump’s “innocent protesters” chanting “The Jews will not replace us.” “You know—statue fans!,” deadpanned Meyers, who repeated the now-unavoidable conclusion that the United States is in the hands of a “man whose brain disease makes it impossible for him to denounce anyone who supports him.” Even—or especially—actual Nazis.