Late-Night Hosts Question Trump's National Emergency Declaration

Trevor Noah - Publicity - H 2018
Brad Barket/Comedy Central

Late-night hosts didn't mince words when they addressed President Trump's declaration of a national emergency on their Monday shows.

Trump announced the measure on Friday to build his long-proposed border wall without the approval of Congress, which did not include the amount of funding that he wanted in its latest spending bill, passed Thursday. He called illegal immigration "an invasion of our country" and added, "Sadly, we'll be sued, and sadly it will go through a process, and happily, we'll win, I think."

On Monday a coalition of 16 states, including California and New York, filed a lawsuit to stop the diversion of funds to build the wall, arguing the president did not have the power to bypass Congress.

On The Late Show on Monday night, Colbert pointed out that the Frontera Audobon Society was among the groups that had filed suit against the "emergency." "You do not want the birders mad at you," Colbert joked. "Trump knows the birds have always had it out for him." Colbert then showed the now-famous clip of Trump dodging a bald eagle while shooting a photograph for Time magazine in 2015.

Of Trump's singsongy voice when he noted that the national emergency declaration would likely face legal challenges, Colbert joked, "I can't tell whether he was answering a question or reading his Torah portion."

Over on Comedy Central, The Daily Show's Trevor Noah made light of the goal of Trump's "emergency": "Look, you can argue about it, but Trump clearly thinks that Mexicans coming over the border is a national emergency. And so, in response, America has to build a wall, which is a very gradual response to an emergency," Noah joked. "Like, 'Sir, they're invading, should we mobilize our tanks and airstrikes?' 'No no no, bring me your finest brick layers. In three to five years they'll regret invading us.'"

Noah also picked up on the song-like part of Trump's speech: "Okay, that was super weird. Why is he talking like this? It sounds like he's being Autotuned," Noah said as he mimicked the president's cadence. "But it's very addictive. I don't think I can stop now."

Over on Late Night, Seth Meyers poked fun at Trump's many rants about the media's coverage of his emergency declaration over the weekend. "It's more obvious every day that Trump's natural inclination is to be a dictator. He could even try and grow a dictator mustache, but based on the rest of his hair situation, I'm not sure [he could]," he joked.

Meyers also made light of the fact that the president was seen at an omelet bar at the Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach after making the declaration. "There's no clearer sign that there's not a real emergency than the fact that he is at an omelet bar. In a real emergency, no one goes to the omelet bar," he said. 

He continued, "When President Obama got bin Laden, he was in the situation room surrounded by generals. Can you imagine Trump overseeing that mission from the omelet bar at his golf club?"