Late-night hosts on Monday discussed Donald Trump’s feud with LaVar Ball, the father of one of three UCLA basketball players arrested in China on suspicion of shoplifting sunglasses, and the White House’s unwillingness to denounce the Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.
“Monday means that it’s time to dig through Trump’s weekend tweets and pick out the little kernels of corn,” Stephen Colbert began. “First up, basketball. You might remember that while he was in China, Trump asked China’s president, Xi Jinping, to release three UCLA players who had been arrested for shoplifting from a Chinese mall, easily the most scandalous thing to happen in a mall that does not involve Roy Moore.”
Colbert then mentioned the first of Trump’s tweets about the affair, which read, “Do you think the three UCLA basketball players will say thank you President Trump?”
“Imagine Thanksgiving at the Trump house,” the host joked, launching into his impression of the president. “Let’s go around the table and all say what we’re thankful to me for.”
“The players did thank the president, but on Friday, one of their fathers, LaVar Ball, shot back at Trump,” Colbert explained. “Ball has made a career out of baiting people to get publicity for his company Big Baller Brand, which is a basketball lifestyle brand and not, as I thought, a company that make pants for men with husky testicles.”
Colbert then mentioned that, when asked by ESPN about Trump’s involvement in getting his son released, Ball replied, “Who?”
“Pretending not to know him is the meanest thing you can do to Donald Trump,” the host joked. “Say what you will about Donald Trump, and I do, but he is the president and ultimately far above responding to a publicity-hungry troll. I’m just kidding. President Whatsisname took the bait, tweeting, ‘Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!’”
“Mr Trump,” Colbert concluded, “maybe now is not the time to be implying someone’s kid should go to jail for what their dad did.”
Seth Meyers of NBC discussed the White House’s evasions when it comes to addressing the sexual molestation accusations against Roy Moore.
“The list of people Trump is attacking includes black NFL athletes, black college basketball players, a black congresswoman and a mayor who’s a woman of color,” he said. “Who’s on the list of people trump hasn’t attacked? Dictators, Nazis and an accused sexual predator who cosplays as creepy Yosemite Sam.”
“Trump even found time on Friday to tweet about the accusations against Democratic senator Al Franken, who admitted to groping and kissing a Los Angeles radio host without her consent,” Meyers continued. “Franken’s actions are horrifying and, while he’s apologized, he’ll still have to face the consequences. In fact, today, a second woman came forward to accuse Franken of inappropriately touching her, telling CNN that he grabbed her buttocks while taking a photo at the Minnesota state fair.”
“Franken’s behavior is inexcusable, and Democrats need to hold him accountable for it, but sexual harassment should be a non-partisan issue,” Meyers went on. “It’s gross and cynical to exploit it for political gain while you’ve refused to condemn the abusers in your own party.”
Meyers then explained that Trump has yet to disavow or even condemn Moore, who has now been accused by eight women of pursuing and/or sexually assaulting them while they were teenagers.
“Moore was banned for the Gadsden mall and, in fact, the Washington Post interviewed a woman who said Moore approached her at the mall when she was a high school senior,” he explained. “And, after she turned him down, Moore called her while she was in school.”
Meyers then said that Moore’s accuser was in trigonometry class when he called her.
“Despite these reports, the White House seems to be telling Alabamans to vote for Moore anyway so they can pass tax cuts,” he explained. “Today, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway went on Fox to slam Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.”
The host then showed clips of Conway’s interview on Fox & Friends, in which she repeatedly ducks questions about whether or not the White House is still endorsing Moore, saying instead that Republicans need the votes to pass tax reform.
“So according to Kellyanne Conway, there is now a lower bar to entry for the Senate than a mall in Alabama,” Meyers quipped.