On “Late Night” on Tuesday, host Seth Meyers devoted a new edition of his “The Check In” segment to the ongoing non-attempts by Donald Trump to do something about Russia’s efforts to manipulate American elections.
It’s a timely topic after Vladimir Putin’s apparently shenanigan-filled re-election over the weekend, and Meyers took a big picture view of the situation, including detailing exactly how little effort the Trump administration is actually putting forth.
“NSA chief Mike Rogers, who’s actually retiring this spring, also indicated that he hasn’t received orders from Trump to disrupt Russian cyber attacks targeting elections,” Meyers said. “And after months and months of inaction, the State Department was finally given $120 million to fight Russian election meddling. And of that $120 million, it has spent zero dollars. Now, to be fair, the Trump Administration is probably saving all that money for goodbye cakes for all the people leaving the White House.”
It doesn’t help, of course, that Trump’s relationship with Putin is suspicious enough that he’s been under investigation for possible collusion with Russia to manipulate the 2016 election.
“Even before Trump became president, he demonstrated that he didn’t really take the issue of hacking too seriously. How do I know? Well, because he publicly appealed to a foreign adversary to continue hacking into the emails of his opponent at the time, Hillary Clinton,” Meyers said before playing a clip from his campaign speech in which Trump said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”
“That’s right. Trump didn’t just not take it seriously, he encouraged it. He’s like one of those parents who say, ‘If you kids are going to drink, I’d rather you do it in the house, and then when you’re good and buzzed I have shrooms in the freezer.’ Now one of the reasons Russia was able to hack into the DNC and meddle in our presidential election is that we were ill-prepared for such an attack. And to be fair no one was ready. There was little preparation and bumbling responses from both sides of the aisle. But now Trump is in charge, and that’s disconcerting, considering this is how he talks about cybersecurity and technology in general.”
Meyers then cued a video montage of Trump saying tech-illiterate things like, “In the old days, everything was better. Now you have to open up things, press a computer. Takes you 15 minutes.” That’s a direct quote.
“Sounds like he’s got a handle on it,” Meyers quipped. “It reminds me of old ‘Law & Order’ episodes where someone tries to explain the internet to Lennie Briscoe. ‘So you’re telling me I can type something here, and somebody else can read it in another city? What a world.'”
You can watch all of the “The Check In” segment from Tuesday’s “Late Night with Seth Meyers” in the video above.