Donald Trump is still doing his daily press briefings on the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. And these briefings have become progressively more contentious as Trump tends to react poorly to any question he perceives as critical. During Stephen Colbert’s monologue on “The Late Show” Tuesday night, the show played a series of clips from Monday’s briefing with Colbert becoming increasingly agitated about it.
The big point of contention on Monday was a report issued by the Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General, which highlighted the fact that so many American hospitals are having to scrounge supplies as they deal with the pandemic.
In the first clip that “The Late Show” showed, Trump is seen reacting to the opening question about the report with a sulking sigh.
“He reacts like a teenage girl,” Colbert joked. “‘Ugh, here we go again. A reporter wanting to know information. I’ll tell you what, you just got tested and you are positive for being a total bitch.’ That’s my new Trump impression.”
In the second clip, we see Trump declare, “We’re the federal government. We’re not supposed to stand on street corners doing testing.”
“First of all, yes it is the federal government’s job,” Colbert said. “Second, street corners? Who does he think does the testing? ‘Hey baby, do you need a date? How about five dollars for a hand swab?’ Trump then pointed to a chart that he had that showed the country had gone from almost no testing to some testing, and scolded the reporter.”
In the third clip, which the last bit of that quote set up, Trump tells a reporter: “You should say, ‘Congratulations, great job!’ instead of being so horrid in the way you ask a question.”
“Yes, a reporter’s job isn’t to ask questions,” Colbert sarcastically agreed. “It is to praise the president for doing a great job. Just like when Woodward and Bernstein got Nixon that ‘Congrats on the Corruption!’ cake.”
And in the final clip from this part of the monologue, Trump tore into Jonathan Karl from ABC News, telling him “you’re a third-rate reporter” and “you will never make it.” When the show cut back to Colbert, he was out of frame, having leaned too far forward to show his frustration.
“What is wrong with him?” Colbert said. “Look. For the record, this inspector general started under Bill Clinton. Served for eight years for George W. Bush, eight years for Obama and then–
“You know, what, who gives a s—? Trump doesn’t understand that no one cares about these hissy fits anymore. All of this drama no longer plays to the camera, sir, not even to your own supporters. Because it doesn’t matter who you voted for. Everyone just wants to know the truth, because that’s how you stay alive! So grow up and do your damn job! We have to. You should too.”
You can watch Colbert’s monologue in its entirety in the video embedded at the top of this post.