9:12pm PT by Trilby Beresford
Seth Meyers Takes on Trump's "Meaningless and Lie-Filled" Farewell Message: "You Left the Nation in Ruins"
Seth Meyers critiqued Trump's final day in office during his "Closer Look" segment Tuesday and referred to the outgoing president's farewell message as "meaningless" and "lie-filled."
Playing clips from Trump's pre-taped address, Meyers joked that it was filled with the "soaring oratory" he is known for. As Trump said, "My fellow Americans," Meyers interjected with, "You don't get to do that. You don't want to do any of the hard parts of leaving gracefully and admitting you lost and attending your successor's inauguration, but you want us to watch a 20-minute farewell speech, which I am certain you're reading for the first time like a tourist reading a menu in a foreign language."
Meyers called Trump's overarching message "absurd," noting the outgoing president's assertion that four years ago he launched an effort to rebuild the U.S. and renew its spirit, and that he did "what he came here to do." The late night host asked, "Are you insane? You left the nation in ruins. What did you come here to do — wreck the economy, spread disease and take selfies with cans of beans where you smile like you just ate ice cream with a cavity?"
He went on to say that, this time four years ago, the federal government was being mobilized in service of an "incredibly stupid lie — Trump's insistence that his inauguration crowd was the largest ever, even though we could all see that it had more white space than the back of a Hallmark card."
Late Night then showed a CNN news clip where it was discussed that a government photographer intentionally cropped the images to remove spaces and make the crowd look larger. "As we've learned over the last four years," Meyers continued, "if you're willing to lie about inconsequential things like crowd size or a weather map, you're also willing to lie about far more important things, like the coronavirus pandemic, which has now passed a grim new death toll of 400,000."
Meyers went on to note that a lot of how Trump behaved back then ended up being a "telling preamble" to how his presidency turned out. "It's not just that Trump inhabits an unhinged fantasy world, which he does, or that he and his aides lie as easily as they breathe, which they do, it's that the entire federal bureaucracy was dragged into defending a narcissistic president's delusion, and anyone who refused to support the lie was punished."
Later in the segment, Meyers referenced Trump's previous statement that COVID-19 would "magically disappear" and that it could be easily cured. "Much like the inauguration lie, everyone around him, from his closest aides to government scientists, resorted to falling in line or face consequences — and while some stood up to him, his closest sycophants decided to take part in the lie and deny reality."
View the whole segment below.