Late-night TV shows wallowed in the monologue riches of the House Oversight Committee hearing at which Michael Cohen warned committee Republicans their blind loyalty to President Donald Trump would wind them up jobless and jail-bound like him, to which they literally shouted back “Liar Liar Pants On Fire.”
The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah noted Trump’s former fixer of 10 years revealed examples of private settings in which Trump exhibited racism. Trump once asked Cohen to name a country run by a black person that wasn’t a shithole when Obama was POTUS. While driving through a struggling neighborhood in Chicago, Trump commented only black people could live that way, Cohen said, and he’d insisted black people would never vote for him “because they’re too stupid.”
“No Donald, actually the reason black people wouldn’t vote for you is because of your trash-ass weave….Also the 50 years of well-documented racism,” Noah shot back.
To refute Cohen’s claims Trump was a racist, the committee’s birther champion and Freedom Caucus bigwig Mark Meadows had brought Trump family friend/POTUS HUD post appointee Lynne Patton for committee hearing show and tell, Noah told his viewers.
“Bravo, bravo! They used The Black Friend defense: I cannot be racist because, as you can see, I have a black friend,” Noah snarked, adding dismissively, that whenever a Trump is “accused of racism, they always bring the same woman.”
Cohen also revealed that during the campaign Trump directed him to send a letter threatening Trump’s high school and college with a lawsuit if they ever released his grades or SAT scores.
“Okay that part is just hilarious,” Noah conceded, wondering “How bad were Trump’s grades?”
“Or, maybe it’s something else. Maybe Trump doesn’t want anyone finding out he got an A in Spanish,” he quipped.
Kimmel, meanwhile, gave Cohen a shout out for seamlessly weaving the Holocaust and a porn star into his opening remarks.
But mostly the ABC late-night star feasted on the relentless behavior of committee Republicans in defense of Trump.
“Their strategy today seemed to be ‘we don’t believe this liar, we believe the other liar, okay?!’” Kimmel described, adding, “As if being a liar wasn’t the main reason Trump hired Michael Cohen.”
Kimmel called “really…disturbing” the fact that all but one of the committee Republicans who spoke had no interest in learning whether Trump committed a crime.
“Almost none of their questions were even about Donald Trump. They didn’t even pretend they cared,” he observed.
“They were behaving like they had this image of Trump raging around his hotel room in his underpants, watching them on TV, so they had to make a stand,” Kimmel said, rolling a clip of one response.
“That’s right. He said ‘Liar, liar pants on fire.'”
Republicans scenery chewing show of outrage and bluster was something Kimmel said he had not seen from a Republican “since Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle All The Way.”
Meanwhile, Kimmel said he learned Cohen had been “so loyal to Trump he took out a loan on his house to pay off a porn star he didn’t even get to have sex with!”
“Imagine refinancing your mortgage so your boss can sexually disappoint someone for two minutes at a golf tournament. Only the best people!” he said.
Late Night’s Seth Meyers told NBC viewers the GOP freak-out actually got underway the night before the hearing. Florida Rep Matt Gaetz is one of Trump’s most rabid supporters but, unfortunately, not on the committee.
No problem: Gaetz threatened Cohen the night before the event, with a tweet wondering if Cohen’s wife knows about his girlfriends and wondering if she would remain faithful to him when he’s in jail.
(Next morning, before the hearings got underway, Gaetz entered the chamber, remaining some time in order to try to intimidate Cohen some more.)
“I didn’t think anyone could out-sleaze Donald Trump, but you did it my friend,” Meyers complimented Gaetz – who is now being invested by the Florida state bar for the threat, which Gaetz also reiterated on the floor of the House and on TV.
Meyers also took delight in Cohen recalling that, shortly before the infamous Trump Tower meeting between Don Jr. and Russians promising Hillary Clinton dirt, that Junior had walked into dad’s office where Cohen was seated and whispered that the meeting was “all set” which Dad responded was “good” adding “let me know.”
Cohen said it stood out in his memory because “Mr. Trump frequently told me and others his son Don Jr. had the worst judgement of anyone in the world.”
Added Meyers: “You know it’s bad when you get dissed for being dumb by a man who threatened his college not to release his SAT scores.”
Conan O’Brien gave props to NBC for the very helpful informational graphics that popped up on screen with background information about various committee members as they got their five grill-Cohen minutes.
Rep. Robin Kelly, for instance, was identified as having been elected to the House in 2013, and also serving as a member of the Foreign Affairs and Energy committees.
But, “I noticed that as the hearing went on and on, the stats became less useful, less helpful,” O’Brien acknowledged. Rep. Mark Green’s bio, for instance, read: “Yellow belt in Taekwondo, Disowned his son for listening to rap, Once referred to salad as “French fries for gays.” Of Rep. Roy Higgins, O’Brien said NBC had noted “Wife told him ‘Don’t go with the vest’.”