There’s a global pandemic going on that has killed more than 155,000 Americans, and Trump has spent the past several days trying to direct attention away from his administrations failed response to the virus by talking endlessly about the video app TikTok. And on Monday night, Seth Meyers spent a portion of a new “A Closer Look” segment to Trump’s attempt at a distraction.
Meyers started the segment, however, by discussing the Vanity Fair report that Jared Kushner’s pandemic response team ended the Trump administration’s plan for a national response in hopes that the blame for the spread would go to Democratic governors in blue states. But that hasn’t worked out, and now Trump is burying that discussion by focusing on TikTok.
“The country is in the midst of an unprecedented national crisis that’s subjected tens of millions of Americans to misery and suffering, and it’s only getting worse,” Meyers said. “Not only are death counts rising, but we just had the largest economic contraction in history. Americans are bracing for a tidal wave of evictions, and Republicans left town without renewing the $600 unemployment benefit that tens of millions of Americans have been relying on to survive in the middle of the worst economic crash since the Great Depression.
“The president could be focusing on any of that. But instead, he’s decided to bring the full power of the presidency to bear on this.”
“Late Night” then pulled up a TikTok video of a dog dancing to a remix of “Love Story” by Taylor Swift.
“That’s right,” Meyers continued. “Instead of stopping a pandemic or helping unemployed Americans, he’s pretending he has the power to unilaterally ban a social media app.”
We then got a series of clips of news reporters talking about Trump’s plan to ban the app by executive order — though no mention of Trump’s new provision about Microsoft purchasing the app from its Chinese owners.
“I’m almost certain Trump has no idea what TikTok is. I’m betting TikTok was one of the answers he wrote on his cognitive test,” Meyers quipped.
“The president can’t just unilaterally ban a social media app, and I don’t trust Republicans to regulate social media since most them don’t seem to understand it. Last week, Republican congressman Jim Sensenbrenner tried to grill Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg about supposed social media bias against conservatives but it, uh, it backfired.”
“Late Night” played the clip in question, in which Sensenbrenner made a pretty comical error.
“It was reported that Donald Trump Jr got taken down for period of time. Now why did that happen?” Sensenbrenner asked in the video. Zuckerberg quickly pointed out that Sensebrenner is talking about something that happened on Twitter, which is a completely separate app.
“Man, it’s such a bummer that we’re deep into the digital age with politicians who came on board during the iron age,” Meyers went on after the clip.
And then he got to the heart of the situation, summing it up in a way only he can.
“Trump doesn’t know anything about TikTok, and he doesn’t actually care,” Meyers said. “He just says stuff like this because it’s his favorite thing to do. He loves to stand on the White House lawn next to a giant whirring helicopter and shout empty pronouncements at reporters because it makes him feel like he’s actually the president and not just some soulless husk who fell ass backwards into a job he wasn’t qualified for because some dummy made fun of him at a dinner once.”
This is, of course, a reference to when Meyers roasted Trump at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, when he joked over and over about all the reasons that Trump could never be president.
You can watch all of this edition of “A Closer Look” from Monday’s episode of “Late Night With Seth Meyers” in the video embedded up at the top of this article, or here on YouTube.