Add Jimmy Fallon — yes, that Jimmy Fallon — to the stack of late-night hosts slugging it out with the President of the United States. NBC’s Tonight Show star used the bully pulpit of his monologue tonight to hit the ball back in Donald Trump’s court after POTUS skewered him on Twitter as “whimpering” and counseled him to “be a man.”
It all started with a published interview in which Fallon admitted that, during a Tonight Show sit-down two years ago, he did not tussle then-candidate Trump’s hair to “normalize him” or to stand by his political beliefs. He added that he was sorry and that he’d made a mistake. “Looking back,” Fallon said. “I would do it differently.”
Fallon later said after the presidential tweet that he was making a donation in the president’s name to RAICES, the Texas-based immigration services non-profit working to reunite families who were separated at the border.
Later on Monday, Trump — cue the “breaking news” fanfare — doubled down on his Fallon bashing during a rally in South Carolina.
But that happened after the usually apolitical Fallon had taped his opening remarks, during which he led with, “Before we begin, I just wanna give a shout out to our show’s No. 1 fan – the President of the United States!”
That launched a series of mini-zingers that continued with the likes of:
- “As you may have heard, last night, the President of the United States went after me on Twitter. So Melania, if you’re watching, I don’t think your anti-bullying campaign is working.”
- “When I saw that Trump insulted me on Twitter, I was gonna tweet back immediately, but I thought, “I have more important things to do.” Then I thought, “Wait – shouldn’t HE have more important things to do?”
- “It’s crazy. The president went after me on Twitter. It’s pretty much the only thing I have in common with NFL players.”
- “A new poll found that 58 percent of Americans think President Trump is intelligent. In response, Trump was like, ‘OK, what did the other 58 percent say?’”