After President Donald Trump continued to tweet about NBC News' recent report that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called him a "moron," late-night hosts Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel took time during their Thursday night opening monologues to offer more of their take on the controversy.
In Trump’s tweets posted Thursday morning, the president continued to criticize the reported allegations as "fake news" and urged for further investigation into the validity of news reporting.
“Apparently this story stuck in Trump’s craw because, this morning he tweeted,” Colbert said as he began reading the president’s tweet in a Trump voice.
The tweet posted on Thursday morning reads: “Rex Tillerson never threatened to resign. This is Fake News put out by @NBCNews. Low news and reporting standards. No verification from me.”
“And as you know, nothing’s true without verification from me,” Colbert mocked after reading the tweet.
To elaborate, Colbert jokingly referenced Trump’s past arguments. “Obama’s birth certificate, totally fake ‘til I said it wasn’t,” Colbert said impersonating Trump. “Last year’s election? Totally rigged until I won it. Then again, what do I know? I’m a verified moron.”
The late-night host then explained an agreement between Defense Secretary James Mattis, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Tillerson, who reportedly have vowed to all leave if that the president makes a move against one of them.
“Trump is known for making moves,” Colbert explained. Attempting to offer advice and joking about Trump's famous Access Hollywood audio, Colbert spoke directly to Tillerson: “Rex, if the president offers to take you furniture shopping, get out of there. And take your cat with you, because he’s grabbing it,“ Colbert said.
Commenting on media reports dubbing the agreement a "suicide pact," Colbert laughed saying that the name is telling of the work environment existing within the administration.
“That’s when you know things are going great in a workplace, when people start forming suicide pacts,” Colbert joked. “They’ve also agreed that if none of them are with somebody by the time they’re 70, they’ll marry each other.”
Kimmel also offered his two cents on another one of Trump’s tweets regarding the Tillerson allegations, where he urged for the Senate Intel Committee to investigate the validity of reported news.
“Why Isn't the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!” Trump wrote.
“I guess he’s moved on from Puerto Rico and Las Vegas, “ Kimmel jokingly responded.
“The Senate Intel Committee, by the way, is busy right now looking into the fake news stories that Russians made up to help him win the election," the late-night host further commented. "The other irony is no one, no breathing human on Planet Earth, produces more fake news that Donald Trump.”
Kimmel proceeded to show statistics of Donald Trump’s rating on Politifact, the nonpartisan fact-checking organization. The rating scale states that only 5 percent of what the president says is true, while more than two-thirds (69 percent) of his comments are either ‘mostly false,’ ‘false’ or ‘pants on fire false.’
Kimmel showed another statistical graph from The Washington Post showcasing the total number of claims Trump has made throughout his presidency. “Over the 232 days, Donald Trump has made 1,145 claims that are false or misleading,” Kimmel explains. “Donald Trump is a tornado of fake news. He’s the Michael Jordan, Elvis Presley and a Great Wall of China of fake news combined."
“Donald Trump criticizing fake news is like Hugh Hefner having to criticize fake breasts,” the late-night host joked.
Kimmel then played a clip of MSNBC reporter Stephanie Ruhle responding to Trump’s tweet criticizing the report as fake. “Sir, we didn’t need to verify that he called you a moron. He did it behind your back,” Ruhle said.
“So round two of the rap battle goes to Stephanie Ruhle,” Kimmel joked.