Seth Meyers did a new “A Closer Look” segment on “Late Night” Wednesday, focusing on the many troubles the Trump Administration is experiencing, from the resignation of Trump’s communications director Hope Hicks to Jared Kushner’s security clearance being downgraded to HUD secretary Ben Carson’s insistence on spending way too much on furniture. Oh, and also that whole thing where Donald Trump met with members of Congress to discuss gun reform and said strange things.
Carson was the throughline for the segment, with Meyers talking about him near the beginning and repeatedly calling back to him as a sort of running gag through the 11-minute segment.
Carson’s scandal of the moment involves reports that his office spent outlandish amounts of money on furnishings, like $31,000 for a dining set and more than $5,000 for a chair.
“$5,000 for a chair? Was it a dentist’s chair?” Meyers asked incredulously. “Although that would make sense as Ben Carson always seems like a guy who is waiting for the nitrous to wear off. The fact that Carson has apparently spent so much time haggling over expensive furniture would explain why he apparently doesn’t know basic facts about the actual duties of his job. As we found out in October, when he was grilled on the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the HUD budget, and seemed totally and completely lost.”
“Late Night” then cued up a lengthy clip of Carson lackadaisically refusing to provide any specifics about what Housing and Urban Development projects would be cut under the Trump budget. To which the questioner, Rep. Al Green, quipped, “I accept your lack of knowledge.”
“‘I accept your lack of knowledge’ is a high-class burn,” Meyers said. “That’s like something Data would say to Riker to make him feel weird for the rest of the mission. Most people would be offended by a line like that but Ben Carson is just gonna go back to his office chair, huff on some nitrous oxide and forget it ever happened.”
Meyers then showed a clip from a 2013 speech by Carson where he complained about wasteful spending and the government’s budget deficit.
Meyers later got to the big topic of the day, Trump’s meeting with members of Congress to discuss gun reform. Whereas Colbert focused largely on how bizarre it was that Trump seemingly took a hardline stance against the NRA in which he heckled lawmakers for being afraid of the organization, Meyers opted to remind everyone that Donald Trump is still Donald Trump, starting with his strange explanation for how if they “harden” schools too much, then those outside would be helpless in the event that a shooter made it inside and would have to “send a tractor through the walls.”
“A tractor. Through the wall. Trump talks less like he’s in a White House meeting and more like he’s at a rewrite table for a new ‘Die Hard’ movie.”
Then Meyers described how Trump basically tried to support most of the gun reform ideas those in the room suggested, going so far as to try to get them to fit every idea into a single “comprehensive” bill, before then expressing his love for the word “comprehensive.”
“Is this the first time he’s heard the word ‘comprehensive’? He sounds like a kid in a spelling bee who’s stalling for time.”
“But here’s the thing we’ve been through with Trump before. In January, Trump held a similar bipartisan meeting on immigration where he said he would support a compromise and then he completely changed his mind. And that’s because Trump changes his mind based on the last person he’s spoken with. If Trump had been at that Ben Carson speech in 2013, he would have spent the rest of the day trying to count to 16 trillion. “
Nearing the end of the segment, Meyers had one more Ben Carson joke in him as he transitioned to discussing the developing political battle between Delta Airlines and Republicans in Georgia.
“And because of that, gun reforms activists and the #NeverAgain movement know they can’t just sit by and wait for Trump to act,” Meyers said. “Which is why they’re taking action on their own, coordinating an NRA boycott that has led companies like Delta to stop offering discounts to NRA members. Which of course is not sitting well with some Republicans. Georgia Republican Michael Williams is one of many in the state threatening to revoke a tax break for Delta over its decision to sever ties with the NRA. Williams went on CNN yesterday to falsely claim that liberal groups like Planned Parenthood still get discounts from companies like Delta. Which left CNN anchor Brianna Keilar completely bewildered.”
Cue a clip of Williams making that claim on CNN and Keilar being so baffled that she had a hard time explaining to Williams just how wrong he was. Eventually, Williams ended the discussion by saying they’d have to “agree to disagree” about whether his statement was true.
“No!” Meyers exclaimed afterward. “You don’t get to agree to disagree with facts! The answer to two plus two isn’t your word against mine. I’m sorry, but someone that dumb does not deserve to be on CNN. If anything, he should be forced to talk to Ben Carson.”