6:41pm PT by Patrick Shanley, Katie Kilkenny, Lexy Perez
Late-Night Hosts Tee Off on Trump's Twitter Firing of Rex Tillerson
Late-night hosts wasted no time in poking fun at former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's firing Tuesday by President Donald Trump over Twitter. Tillerson was ousted barely four hours after he returned from an Africa mission, and with no face-to-face conversation with the president.
On Late Night With Seth Meyers, the host clarified Tillerson's social media ouster. "Well, technically, it was a retweet,” said Meyers, showing an image of a fictionalized tweet by Russian president Vladimir Putin that read, “You’re Fired, Rex.”
Later, in his "Couple Things" segment, Meyers took further issue with how Trump let Tillerson go. "Even when you get fired from Domino's, the manager takes you into that crappy little office and tells you to your face," the host said. "Tweets are for finding out which band is in town or which airline was mean to Chrissy Teigen.”
Offering an explanation as to why Tillerson was dismissed, Meyers compared the move to 1980s college comedies. “If the White House is a fraternity house in an '80s movie, Tillerson was the dean, and the dean never wins in an '80s movie,” the host quipped.
Over on The Daily Show, host Trevor Noah noted it was lucky that Tillerson was tipped off about the news of his firing before the information got out while he was in Africa. "Imagine if this happened and he wasn't warned. He could have been in the middle of negotiations in Africa and African leadership could have found out before him," said Noah. "He could've been like, 'I'm here to tell you what America requires,' and they could've been like, 'I'm here to tell you to suck my dick.' "
On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert joked about the way Trump phrased Tillerson's dismissal (and former CIA head Mike Pompeo's subsequent hiring) on Twitter, saying, "Congratulations to all!"
"Wait, congratulations to all? 'Congratulations Rex, you've won an all-expenses paid trip to beautiful Get the Fuck Out of Here,' " Colbert said. " 'As a parting gift we got you this beautiful door, which we hope does not hit you on the ass.' "
Colbert subsequently poked fun at Trump's method for delivering bad news to a person he had worked closely with for the past year. "It's too bad Twitter wasn't around when Trump entered his first two marriages," Colbert said, "Back then he had to do it by fax." A picture of a fax machine printing a paper with the words "Sorry, you're a seven at best" scrawled over it then filled the screen.
Later in the show, Colbert’s Hunger Games-inspired Julius Flickerman character made his return to further discuss the “dramatic” departure of Tillerson. Chronicling Tillerson’s life story, Flickerman jabbed that the former Secretary of State introduced the “merit badge in moron identification” to Trump while serving as an adult boy scout. Though Tillerson pondered quitting seven months prior, Colbert advised that Tillerson should have referred to Twitter. “Remember the old saying: If at first you don’t succeed, check your Twitter. You’ve just been fired.”
Colbert's Flickerman also made a jab at Hillary Clinton after learning that Tillerson has been categorized as one of the “worst Secretaries of State.” “Which is saying something, because I know one Secretary of State who couldn’t even beat Donald Trump in an election.” Colbert later put a Tillerson figurine into a mini-wooden coffin, which he filled with oil.
Jimmy Kimmel reminded viewers of Live! that the tweeted firing was especially odd given that Trump has a lot of experience firing people in person from his days on The Apprentice. "Donald Trump spent more time firing Lil Jon than he did firing the Secretary of State," Kimmel joked. He added: "I’m starting to think he fires people — just so he can get a piece of going-away cake at the party."
Conan O'Brien, meanwhile, poked fun at Trump's nomination process. "President Trump fired his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Twitter. It makes sense when you consider that Trump hired Tillerson on Tinder," O'Brien said.
Then O'Brien took a jab at former White House political aide Omarosa Manigault, who recently gossiped about the White House to her roommate on the show Big Brother, where she was a contestant for a few episodes: "Rex Tillerson reportedly doesn’t know why he was fired. At least, that's according to Tillerson's roommates, Sean Spicer and Omarosa," he said.
Over at The Late Late Show, James Corden also shared his take on the Trump’s firing. “This surprised me mostly because I thought Tillerson got fired months ago,“ he said, joking that Tillerson was just an “old rich white guy that worked for Trump.”
About Tillerson learning he was fired via Twitter, Corden quipped that it was simply due to the social media network being more "presidential" than others. Following Tillerson’s firing, Trump also let go of Tillerson’s Undersecretary of State, something Corden found difficult to keep up with: “Trump is firing staffers over the firing of staffers. This is like that movie Inception, except with uglier people.”
To settle the confusion over who has been fired, Corden showcased a flowchart he'd made, which simply read: “Did they work in the White House?” to which the response is “Fired.”
Meanwhile, on The Opposition, Jordan Klepper called Tillerson’s firing process “classy.” “Twitter is the best way to fire people. Everyone deserves to be fired between a sad Keanu [Reeves] meme and a thread on why Bruno Mars is problematic,” Klepper said, adding that he’s “glad” the president decided to fire the “oil drum wearing a neck tie.”