Anna Sheffer
July 17, 2018 9:36 am

On July 16th, Americans across the political spectrum were shocked when President Donald Trump said that he believed Russia had not interfered in the 2016 presidential election, siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the United States’ own intelligence community. The president’s “treasonous” remarks were widely condemned from figures on both sides of the political aisle. And perhaps, as expected, late-night hosts had a lot to say about the president’s comments.

Jimmy Fallon started off the July 16th episode of The Tonight Show by joking, “According to experts, Trump and Putin had a lot to negotiate in their meeting. Trump said the negotiations went great. Putin now controls New York and California, and in exchange, Trump got three magic beans.” Ouch. But also, LOL.

Kimmel began Jimmy Kimmel Live! by saying that the day had possibly been the weirdest in “Donald Trump’s reign of error.” The host referred to Putin as Trump’s “KGBFF” and quipped that “Helsinki has frozen over.”

On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the host showed clips of reactions to Trump’s comments, including former CIA Director John Brennan’s tweet calling Trump’s words “nothing short of treasonous.” Colbert also riffed on Senator John McCain’s statement that Trump’s “naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate.” The late-night host pulled out a calculator and mimed calculating all of the elements of McCain’s criticism.

In the “A Closer Look” segment on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Seth Meyers called the summit “surreal,” observing that during the press conference Trump had “twisted himself in knots to take Putin’s side.” Meyers played clips from the conference, including one in which Trump attempted to pivot the discussion back to Hillary Clinton’s emails. (Really?)

Meanwhile, on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Trevor Noah began his broadcast by saying that “if your name is Vladimir Putin, today was a very good day.” He pointed out that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 12 Russian officials on July 13th had given the “formerly purposeless meeting between Trump and Putin” a purpose.

As these late-night hosts pointed out, Trump’s comments in Finland showed a blatant disregard for democracy. All jokes aside, we need our government to do better.

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