The emergence of perhaps the greatest and most depressing meme of the Trump presidency so far, DO NOT CONGRATULATE, was late enough in the day on Tuesday that most late-night hosts didn’t get to it until last night. Seth Meyers thought it was such great subject matter that he spent an entire “A Closer Look” segment to it on Wednesday.
“So Trump congratulated Putin on winning an apparently fraudulent election just a week after our closest ally accused Russia of orchestrating a chemical attack on British soil. And Trump didn’t even mention Putin’s meddling in the 2016 election, and if that wasn’t bad enough, even Trump’s own advisers warned him not to congratulate Putin on the call,” Meyers said.
Meyers continued: “The Washington Post reported yesterday that Trump ignored specific warnings from his national security advisers Tuesday when he congratulated Putin on his re-election including a section in his briefing materials in all capital letters stating, ‘DO NOT CONGRATULATE.’ Man, they even put it in all caps. That’s Donald Trump’s native tongue.
“But what’s amazing is not only did Trump ignore the advice, he went 180 degrees in the other direction. They told him not to congratulate Putin and instead he invited Putin to a get-together. It’s like if your wife says, ‘Your buddy Carl creeps me out. I don’t want him hanging around here anymore.’ And you said, ‘Okay, totally got it, get it, problem solved. Asked him to move in with us.'”
Meyers had plenty of other zingers about Trump’s call to Putin, including over the fact that he even called him in the first place when he didn’t even need to. Earlier in the segment, Meyers said this:
“Now with all the questions swirling around Trump right now, you’d think he’d be eager to distance himself from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Talking to Putin right now would be like cheating on your wife and then posing for a picture with the woman you cheated with. Oh, right, he did he that too. Forgot who we were talking about for a second,” Meyers quipped.
“Now it’s worth remembering that then-president Obama congratulated Putin in 2012 on his election victory at the time, but given Russia’s election meddling and their recent chemical attack in the UK, you think now would be a bad time to cozy up to Putin. And yet after his White House specifically made a point of saying Trump had no intention of calling Putin to congratulate him, Trump told reporters yesterday that he had called Putin to congratulate him.”
“Late Night” then played the clip of Trump telling everybody that he did the one thing he wasn’t supposed to do, while also inviting Putin to a meeting “to discuss the arms race, which is getting out of control.”
“Hey man, you can’t say the arms race is getting out of control, when you’re the one at the controls,” Meyers said. “You’re like if Sully had gotten on the PA and said, ‘The engine is out of control. Maybe the birds will fix it. I’m grabbing a parachute, peace.'”
You can watch Wednesday’s “A Closer Look” segment in its entirety in the video above.