We’ve reached the point in the year where, at least for me, everything that involves Washington D.C. and Donald Trump is melding together into a great big blur of madness. Instead of Trump’s scandals and other “situations” coming and going quickly, it’s starting to feel more like they’re each forming a bunch of long-term narratives that will eventually merge into one like on “Game of Thrones.”
On “Late Night” Wednesday night, Seth Meyers went through three of those distinct long-term narratives in a new edition of “A Closer Look”: Trump’s relationship with North Korea, Trump’s relationship with China, and Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Meyers opened by discussing the deteriorating situation with North Korea, which pulled out of peace talks with South Korea earlier this week, and Trump had seemingly no idea how to handle it.
“The worry has always been that the Trump administration wasn’t fully prepared for the negotiations. And when the news broke yesterday, those suspicions seemed to be confirmed,” Meyers said, before running a clip from CNN in which an anchor cited a source that said that “the White House was caught off guard” by the new development.
“Oh really? The Trump White House was caught off guard by something? When have they ever been caught on guard?” Meyers joked. “This White House is like me every time I take a nap during the day and wake up after dark. ‘What? Huh? What happened? What day is it?’ ”
Then “Late Night” played another clip to highlight just how off-guard Trump was caught by all this, in which the president answered a question about it by saying, “We haven’t seen anything. We haven’t heard anything. We will see what happens.”
“You haven’t seen anything or heard anything? I never thought I’d say this, but Mr. President, you should watch more TV.”
Moving on the the situation with the embassy in Israel, Meyers noted how inconsistent Trump has been when talking about that subject, like during the 2016 campaign when he talked a big game about staying neutral in the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians while also saying he’s pro-Israel — something Hillary Clinton called him out for.
“When Hillary Clinton criticized Trump for waffling on Israel and said he didn’t have steady hands, Trump refused to back down,” Meyers said. Then the show played a clip of Trump telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that “I have the steadiest hands. Look at those hands. I have the steadiest hands.”
“Hey dummy, it’s a metaphor,” Meyers continued. “She wasn’t talking about your actual hands. ‘She said I don’t have my head screwed on right but look, it’s totally attached to my neck.’ Also, Wolf, didn’t you learn anything from ‘Blazing Saddles’? You have to ask to see the other hand.”
Then “Late Night” played the “yeah, but I shoot with this hand” scene from that movie.
“Of course, Trump has since totally backtracked on his pledge to be neutral and moving the embassy is just the latest example,” Meyers continued. “On the same day, Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinians, a horrifying display of violence that was widely condemned. And yet Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner celebrated the move.”
Next up was a clip from Kushner’s speech at the embassy opening, in which he said this: “While presidents before him have backed down from their pledge to move the American embassy, once in office, this president delivered. Because when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it.”
“Well, yes and no,” Meyers said. “The thing is, he promises everything on every side of every issue. So he ends up keeping one of the promises just by accident. When you flip a coin, Trump yells, ‘heads-tails!’ Trump said he would be neutral, then he said he would make a deal. Then he said we’ll move the embassy. Trump only kept the last promise he made. Trump’s like a s—ty magician. ‘Is this your card? How about this one? This one?’ And then 52 cards later, he goes ‘ta-da!’ ”
You can watch all of “A Closer Look” from Wednesday’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” in the video embedded at the top of this post.