Late Night Hosts React to Trump's Acquittal, Praise Mitt Romney for "Shocking" Vote

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS; Sean Gallagher; Lloyd Bishop/NBC

"Who would have thought that the most badass Republican in the Senate would end up being a Mormon dude named Mitt?" Trevor Noah said in response to the senator's vote to impeach Trump.

Late night hosts reacted to the U.S. Senate's decision to acquit President Donald Trump during Wednesday's episodes of their shows.

Following five months of hearings and investigations about Trump's dealings with Ukraine, a divided Senate acquitted the president on Wednesday of charges that he abused his power and obstructed Congress to aid his own re-election.

After Stephen Colbert shared the news on The Late Show, his audience showed their disapproval by booing.

"Nothing means anything anymore. Right is wrong. Up is down. Missouri is Kansas," said Colbert, joking about Trump's mistaken Super Bowl tweet. "Now we know that asking a foreign power to interfere in our election is the new normal."

The host joked that Democrats have no choice but to recruit foreign countries for help. He then did an impression of Bernie Sanders asking Russia for "that pee pee tape."

During the voting process, the Republican Senate argued that "they're not setting the precedent that presidents are above the law because Trump is going to change."

"The only lesson that Trump ever learns is that he gets away with everything," continued Colbert, listing that he has gotten away with multiple bankruptcies and sexual assault accusations, and saying that "he's in perfect health despite eating like a rat behind the Bob's Big Boy."

For Trump's charge of abuse of power, the Senate voted 52-48. In light of the vote, Colbert thanked Mitt Romney for saying that Trump was guilty. During a speech, Romney explained that his faith compelled him to vote in favor of Trump's impeachment.

"It makes sense because the Old Testament does say you should worship God, not golden cows," Colbert said as a shot of Trump appeared onscreen.

The host admitted that he had made fun of Romney many times in the past. "After seeing this speech, I would do all those jokes again because that's the oath I took," said Colbert. "But I do want to say that was an inspiring speech because hearing Mitt Romney take his oath to God seriously was like finding water in the desert because we know that Republicans are lying when they say that Trump didn't do anything wrong or maybe he did, but he shouldn't be removed."

Colbert added that every person to leave the White House and write a book about their experience has revealed that the Republicans "privately are horrified" by Trump, so he praised Romney for keeping his oath and telling the truth.

"Why can't he be president?" concluded Colbert. "Thanks, Obama."

Over on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the ABC host said that the impeachment process "just got even longer and more nightmare-ish."

Kimmel touched on Romney's speech, which said that corrupting the election was "the most abusive and destructive violation of one's oath of office that I can imagine." The host responded, "Give him time. Whatever you're imagining, I'm sure he'll come up with something much, much worse."

Susan Collins was a Republican Senator that voted in favor of Trump. Following the vote, she said that she thought Trump "has learned" from the experience. "What he's learned is 'I will do whatever I want and you will eat it,'" said Kimmel. "This is a man who declared bankruptcy six times. Does that sound like someone who learns?"

Kimmel added that Republicans are worried how they will be remembered in history. "If Trump gets another four years, there won't be any more history books," he said. "Fifty years from now, textbooks in Florida will show Donald Trump, Jesus and the Space Force winning a war against Mexican dinosaurs."

Seth Meyers also took a deep dive into Trump's acquittal during Late Night's "A Closer Look" segment.

The NBC host said the "shameless, corrupt liar was on full display today" when Trump was acquitted after a "sham impeachment trial in which they ignored the evidence and refused to hear from witnesses."

"A Senate Republican caucus, again representing a minority of Americans, acquitted a president who lost the popular vote in the 2016 and tried to cheat in the 2020 election," recapped Meyers. "You can't call that democracy."

In response to Romney's surprise vote, Meyers said that he loved that the politician's speech was on Fox News "just to enrage Trump even more." He added, "Trump's aides probably had to put duct tape over the TV to make the headline say 'Trump Is a Good Boy and I Love Him.'"

Meyers added that it was shocking to hear a Republican speak about his conscience. "Most Republicans filed for divorce from their conscience years ago," he said. "That's why Mitch McConnell is always smiling like that."

"This week has showcased in vivid terms the crisis of democracy we're facing. With the exception of Mitt Romney, a Republican caucus representing a minority of Americans acquitted a corrupt Republican president who lost the popular vote and lied repeatedly in his State of the Union address," said Meyers.

On The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon also talked about Romney's vote.

"Romney's decision took a lot of grit, nerve and guts," he said. "Incidentally, 'Grit, Nerve and Guts' are the names of some of Mitt Romney's sons."

Fallon noted that Romney made history as the first U.S. senator to vote to remove a president from his own party. "Of course, the other time Romney made history was when he became the first man to iron his tuxedo while wearing it," he added before a clip showed Romney ironing his outfit. The clip concluded with Romney stating, "Ouch."

Over on The Daily Show, after Trevor Noah told his audience that Trump had been acquitted, the crowd booed. The host responded, "Don't boo. Vote."

He added that the impeachment process was like "a movie where you can guess what was gonna happen without even watching it."

Noah said that the only real drama was "whether any Republicans would dare vote against Donald Trump."

"That is shocking," Noah said, following news reports about Romney's vote. "Who would have thought that the most badass Republican in the Senate would end up being a Mormon dude named Mitt? And I've got to say, Mitt, you proved everyone wrong. The haters said you were as radical as a glass of skim milk. But they were wrong, Mitt. You're whole milk."

Noah later criticized Trump after he responded to Collins' comments that he learned his lesson by emphasizing that he did nothing wrong. "Donald Trump would be the hardest person to defend in court," the host said. "He'd be like, 'Your honor, my client has learned his lesson.' 'No, I haven't!'"

"Trump hasn't learned a lesson. If anything, he's learned that he can do whatever he wants and Republicans will let him get away with it," said Noah. "But first, they're gonna shake their heads."