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In Trevor Noah’s opening monologue, the host pointed out that many Democratic politicians had boycotted the speech in protest of some of the president’s remarks and actions, including his reported “shithole” remarks. “In fact there were so many black women missing that Boko Haram tried to take credit for it,” Noah joked.
Of the Democratic women who did attend, Noah said the majority of them wore black in solidarity with the #MeToo movement — “either that or they thought they were attending a funeral for the state of the English language.”
Noah also addressed the president’s comments on “Dreamers.” Trump said in the speech, “My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans—to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too.”
Noah responded, “Damn. Did Trump just ‘All Lives Matter’ the Dreamers?” referring to the “All Lives Matter” movement that arose in response to “Black Lives Matter.”
The New Yorker editor David Remnick also joined Noah to discuss the speech, what it meant for the direction of Trump’s administration and where it fit into the history of State of the Union addresses. Remnick noted that the speech did not offer many concrete details about the direction of Trump’s administration into 2018, unlike speeches throughout history, which took “months” to write.
Instead, “You would think that the most essential part of immigration is our fear of immigration,” Remnick said, noting how much time the speech spent on the gang MS-13.
Remnick also noted that while Trump spent “10 minutes on foreign policy,” and particularly on despotic world leaders including the presidents of Iran and North Korea, “there was no mention of Russia.” Trump has frequently criticized the special investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 election, and The New York Times reported last week that Trump had tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, but backed down after a White House counsel threatened to quite if he did.
The State of the Union special marked the seventh-ever live show for Noah.
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