8:31pm PT by Lauren Huff, Katherine Schaffstall
Late-Night Hosts React to Anonymous Trump Official's NY Times Op-Ed
Late-night hosts had a lot to say about a bombshell op-ed published in The New York Times on Wednesday, which was written by an anonymous senior Trump administration official.
In the piece, the writer, claiming to be part of the "resistance" to Trump but not from the left, said in part: "Many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump's more misguided impulses until he is out of office."
In his opening Late Show monologue, Stephen Colbert jokingly warned the president, "Mr. President, they traced the resistance. It's coming from inside the White House! Get out of there and stay out of there!"
Colbert's guest, former Secretary of State and onetime Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, also shared his thoughts on the Times piece, saying that it "scared the hell out of him," but, he joked, "there is some reassurance for James Buchanan because it means he's no longer the worst president."
"Actually, it's really serious," he continued. "You know what it really means, Stephen, is that we don't really have a president. We have a president who is there but he's not capable of doing the job or living up to the responsibilities."
Over on The Daily Show, host Trevor Noah was incredulous over the news. "Holy shit. There's a secret group of people within the White House actively working to curb President Trump, which is wild, because this means this whole time we've been dealing with the watered-down version of Trump!"
He continued, "This is the Diet Trump? That's like finding out [adult video] 'Two Girls, One Cup' is the PG version of the clip!"
Noah also said the op-ed and its author's admission that "it may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but Americans should know that there are adults in the room," did not make him feel any better. "Before this, I knew there was turbulence. But now someone came on the PA system and said, 'Uh, ladies and gentleman, the pilot is actively trying to crash the plane. But don't be alarmed, we're doing everything we can to stop him. Mikey's got a pretty good choke hold and I've had some harsh words with him, so please keep your seat belts fastened and enjoy your peanuts and tax cuts.'"
The opinion piece immediately triggered a wild guessing game as to the author's identity on social media, but Jimmy Kimmel thinks he has it figured out.
First, he joked, "I have to say, I'm surprised by how good a writer Ivanka is." But, he pointed out that some Internet users have picked up on the use of the word "lodestar" in the piece. "That's not a common word, lodestar. Not a lot of people use that word," Kimmel explained before offering video evidence of Vice President Mike Pence using the word.
"Wouldn't that be something if it was Mike Pence?" he said. "This is gonna drive Trump absolutely nuts. Can you imagine what it must be like to have a job at which almost everyone who works for you thinks you're a complete idiot?"
"I can," he deadpanned. "I'll tell you something — it's no fun at all."
Seth Meyers also addressed the op-ed piece on Late Night.
"OK, I'm gonna say it was Kellyanne in the Situation Room with the laptop," Meyers said as he guessed that the current counselor to the president is behind the piece. "We'll find out soon."
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Over on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon shared how he believes Trump reacted to the news. "When Trump heard, he screamed, 'Oh my god! Fake news is coming from inside the house,'" joked Fallon with his Trump impression.
"A senior official wrote an anonymous op-ed about Trump," continued Fallon. "Even stranger, the official signed it XOXO Gossip Girl."