President Obama Talks Trump Tape, Reads 'Mean Tweets' on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live'
The president weighed in on the Donald Trump-Billy Bush tape during his second visit with Kimmel and gave the comedian a serious answer about the "qualitatively different" way Trump has operated in this election.
Appearing for the second time on the late-night ABC show, President Barack Obama discussed the infamous Donald Trump tape on Monday's Jimmy Kimmel Live. Kimmel wanted to know when and where the president first watched the resurfaced hot mic video of Trump and Access Hollywood's Billy Bush.
"We were in Chicago," said Obama. "I think I was just coming out of an event and somebody just showed it to me on their phone."
Kimmel asked: "At that moment, did you know it was going to be as notable as it turned out to be?"
Obama replied, "Yes." Then adding to laughs, "Didn't you?"
He continued, "I think that's one of those things where if your best friend who worked in the office somewhere had that video it would be a problem for him, and he's not running for president. And rightfully so."
When Kimmel first introduced Obama to the stage, the host said he was honored the president could "take time away from rigging the election" to appear on the show.
And the Trump digs didn't end there.
When talk turned to the presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Trump, Obama admitted to Kimmel that he laughs "most of the time" while watching the GOP nominee during the televised showdowns.
But it was when Kimmel asked Obama if he wishes he could be the one running against Trump that the president launched into a serious answer. "Hillary is doing just fine. I'm enjoying campaigning on her behalf and also campaigning for Senate and House candidates," he said.
He continued, "Look, we joke about Donald Trump, but I do think that part of the reason you've seen Michelle [Obama] passionate in this election, part of the reason we get involved as much as we have, is not just because we think Hillary is going to be a good president, but also because there is something qualitatively different about the way Trump has operated in the political sphere."
He added that he ran against John McCain and Mitt Romney and that if they had won, he wouldn't have worried about the general course of the nation, as he is now.
"Sometimes it's going to be contentious and noisy," he acknowledged. "But what we haven't seen before is somebody questioning the integrity of elections and the will of the people. What we haven't seen before is a politics based on putting down, in very explicit terms, of Muslim Americans who are patriots. Or describing women not in terms of their intellect and their character, but on a 1-10 score. Regardless of what your political preferences are, there is a certain responsibility and expectation in terms of how you behave and how you present yourself. It doesn't mean that you're perfect."
He concluded: "If you are willing to say anything and do anything even when it undermines everything that's been built by previous generations, that's a problem. And that's why I take this election very seriously."
Obama also revisited the special presidential edition of Kimmel's "Mean Tweets" ahead of the appearance. After an introduction from Kimmel about how Obama, like Uber drivers, has no control over his approval ratings, the president once again read off a slew of mean tweets for the hit segment (Obama also read "Mean Tweets" during his first visit last year).
"Barack Obama dances like how his jeans look," read Obama, before firing back: "You know this jeans thing is so old. This was years ago."
Another tweet read: "Bro, do you even lift?!" And another: "Barack Obama is the sharknado of presidents. Loud, stupid and over-hyped! #sharknado4."
He then read a tweet from Trump himself (@realDonaldTrump), which said: "President Obama will go down as perhaps the worst president in the history of the United States!"
His reply? "At least I will go down as a president." He then dropped the phone like a mic.
During the interview, Kimmel also wanted to know if being president is similar to in the movies, where the president is always woken up in the middle of the night to tend to a disaster. Obama said there have actually only been three or four instances when he was woken up before his 7 a.m. wake-up call.
In a nod to Trump, Obama said: “I don’t tweet at 3 a.m. about people who insult me.”
After the president announced that he had already voted, Kimmel asked him why voters find Clinton so untrustworthy.
"When you have been in the public eye for that long, in politics, folks go after you," he said of Clinton's 30 years of experience. "A whole narrative begins to build and that has an impact on people. But I can say, having worked with her, she's smart as a whip. She does her homework. She works very hard.... She's not somebody who thinks the job is about flash and sizzle and making speeches."
Obama also said that all of the women in his household are looking forward to leading a more normal life come Nov. 8, though the family will be staying in Washington, D.C. He then joked that if he were able to run for a third term, Michelle Obama would divorce him.
"I know you have to leave, but can we keep her for a few more years?" asked Kimmel.
Still, he concluded the show by reminding people not to forget about them.
Obama last visited Kimmel on March 12, 2015, where he read the inaugural presidential edition of "Mean Tweets."
The president, who is in Los Angeles to attend a last round of fundraisers before Election Day, also filmed a surprise late-night bit on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last week. During both visits, he urged viewers to vote.
After his Kimmel taping, Obama headed to his Monday night Beverly Hills fundraiser benefiting the Hillary Victory Fund, the joint fundraising committee for Hillary for America, the Democratic National Committee and 33 state Democratic committees. The event was hosted by former DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and wife Marilyn, along with couples Crystal and Chris Sacca and Jennifer Perry and Andy Spahn. His next stop is a fundraising event at the home of Ryan Murphy.
Oct. 24, 9:45 p.m.: Updated with Obama's full appearance.