Colbert said Trump “created an international oopsy-daisy” by speaking on the phone with Taiwan president Tsai Ing-Wen. He joked that Trump asked the Taiwanese leader what she was wearing, before explaining that in reality the call was a blunder because the U.S. hasn’t recognized Taiwan as an independent nation since 1979, in order to appease the Chinese. “Basically it’s like if Cheers refused to acknowledge that Frasier had become its own show,” said Colbert.
He told Trump that if he ever got confused about which nation he was speaking with, he should remember that the China the U.S. talks to is “the one where they make your ties.”
Colbert quoted The New York Times, which said that the “exchange touched the ‘most sensitive spot’ for China’s foreign policy.” He quipped, “Well no surprise — Donald Trump has a long history of sensitive-spot touching.”
Seth Meyers worked his way up to tackling the Taiwan call by playing footage of Trump saying that if China ever slighted him like it did Obama — by not greeting him with a red-carpet staircase — he would just turn the plane around.
Meyers joked that in order to satisfy Trump, China may need a smoke machine, adding that China itself is a smoke machine. Then he moved on to the media reacting to Trump’s Taiwan call, showing journalists talking about what an insult this is to China.
“Sounds like somebody’s not getting the nice staircase,” Meyers said.
Jimmy Kimmel also referenced the call in his monologue saying that the Taiwan president called had him to congratulate him for hosting the Oscars. “Just to be clear, she called me,” he said, echoing Trump’s defense of the call.