The story of Donald Trump’s policy to separate immigrant children from their families at the border has reached the end of its first act, with Trump’s executive order that may or may not effectively end the policy. So Stephen Colbert, for the third night in a row, went in on Trump over this whole situation.
“However you slice it, Donald Trump has changed his mind and decided to keep families together. And just in time, too. Melania was just about to turn herself in at the border,” Colbert said. “But how could he end this? His hands were tied, he said! How could he end this? It was the Democrats. It was their laws, he says. There was one thing we knew he couldn’t do.”
“The Late Show” then played a clip from last week of Trump saying specifically that the family separation policy could not be altered using an executive order.
“There it is. Can’t be done. So here he is, doing it,” Colbert said before a clip played of Trump signing his executive order, after which he looked up and said, “You’re going to have a lot of happy people.”
“Happy people? Wait. Are you signing your resignation?” Colbert joked.
He then noted that it would be very strange to now applaud Trump for possibly ending a policy he enacted.
“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,” Colbert said. “That’s like wanting credit for solving the crime you committed. It’s all on the new CBS drama ‘Murder, She Murdered.’ “
Colbert then pointed out the ambiguous nature of Trump’s executive order.
“And this executive order is not what he wants you to think it is,” Colbert said. “Sure, he’s reuniting families in prison. He’s detaining parents and children together. ‘Look, if I have to go to prison with my kids, so do you.’
“A political science professor pointed out that ‘Family unity policy only applies to the extent permitted by law, but the administration claims the law does not allow them to maintain family unity, so did anything actually just change?’ Oh! It’s like one of those brain teasers, where one man always tells lies, and we elected him president.”
Colbert then summed up the whole situation:
“But even if this was the perfect plan — and it’s not — but if it was the perfect plan, none of these folks in the administration or anyone who defended them are off the moral meat hook 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.”
You can watch this portion of Colbert’s monologue from Wednesday’s episode of “The Late Show” in the video embedded at the top of this post.