“I’m tired of people being bewildered about everything [Trump] says: ‘I can’t believe he said that.’ We gotta stop that and, instead, figure out ways to protect ourselves from him. We know he’s crazy. We gotta take care of ourselves here now,” Letterman said in an interview that covers the latest New York magazine.
“Comedy’s one of the ways that we can protect ourselves. The man has such thin skin that if you keep pressure on him—I remember there was a baseball game in Cleveland, and a swarm of flies came on the field and the batters were [swatting flies]
Stephen Colbert Accuses Fox News Of Cheating On Trump By 'Reporting The Truth'
while the pitcher was throwing 100 miles an hour.
“Well, that’s Alec Baldwin and Saturday Night Live. It’s distracting the batter. Eventually Trump’s going to take a fastball off the
sternum and have to leave the game.”
Democrats are not cutting it, Letterman said – except SNL alum Sen. Al Franken:
“The Democrats, goddamn it, get a little backbone, get a little spine,” Letterman scolded. ” The only person I can trust anymore is Al Franken, who has a great brain and a great heart. I believe what he says.”
Asked about Jimmy Fallon’s much-criticized Trump hair-muss “interview,” Letterman said he thought late-night hosts had an “obligation” to take on Trump. “We used to have a joke we’d do about booking guests: ‘Guess what?…Neil Armstrong is going to be on the show.’ ‘Neil Armstrong? That’s fantastic.’ ‘He doesn’t want to talk about the moon.’ I don’t want to criticize Jimmy Fallon, but I can only tell you what I would have done in that situation: I would have gone to work on Trump. But the thing about it is, you don’t have to concoct a complicated satirical premise to joke about Donald Trump. It’s not, Two guys walk into a bar …’”
But Letterman, who started booking Trump on his show in the late 80’s, acknowledges he wasn’t so tough on the real-estate developer back then, because ” “He was a mogul, for god’s sake.”
In this century, Letterman made fun of Trump’s hair and his made-in-China ties on his CBS show.
“He was a joke of a wealthy guy. We didn’t take him seriously. He’d sit down, and I would just start making fun of him. He never had any retort. He was big and doughy, and you could beat him up. He seemed to have a good time, and the audience loved it, and that was Donald Trump.”
And, no one took seriously Trump’s incessant hinting he might run for POTUS, Leterman added. “I remember a friend in the PR business told me that he knew for a fact — this was three or four presidential campaigns ago — that Donald Trump would never run for president; he was just monkeying around for the publicity.”
In the interview, Letterman also talks about the people surrounding President Trump. “He hires the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Steve Bannon, to be his little buddy…How is a white supremacist the chief adviser to our president?” Letterman said he’d like to ask Trump, “Who’s this goon Steve Bannon and why do you want a white supremacist as one of your advisers? Come on, Don, we both know you’re lying. Now stop it’.”
“Meanwhile, poor [White House Press Secretary] Sean Spicer is a boob who just got out of a cab and now here he is. Then the other kid, is it [Stephen] Miller? … Wow, that guy is creepy. He fell out of a truck,” Letterman snarked.
Letterman says he’s “sure the Russians groomed Trump. They gave him tips: ‘You want to be an authoritarian dictator? Sure, that’s not a problem. We’ll tell you how to do it.’”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.