Late-night talk show hosts on Wednesday didn’t miss a beat when it came to discussing a transcript of a phone conversation between US President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Trump repeatedly pushed for Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, during a July 25 phone call, according to a transcript of the conversation released by the White House.
“These notes that they released of this phone call make Trump look — and I don’t want to get too technical — uh, bad,” Colbert said opening Wednesday’s “Late Show.”
Colbert then took viewers through the transcript using voices to sound like Trump and Zelensky. The comedian then went off on a tangent on what else he thinks was going through Trump’s mind.
“Look, Volody, all I’m saying is I scratch your back, you help me bury Joe Biden’s political career in a shallow grave, in the woods, down by the dump,” Colbert said while impersonating Trump.
Colbert zeroed in on Trump saying, “I would like you to do us a favor, though…” calling it the “quid pro quote.”
Once Colbert read the line, he started imitating a game show host as bells began to ring in the Ed Sullivan Theater.
“Ladies and gentlemen, our contestant has said today’s secret word!” Colbert said. “Tell the president what he’s won! It’s protracted impeachment inquiries, a permanent stain on his already shameful legacy and a lovely Broyhill dinette set.”
Over on ABC, Jimmy Kimmel had the guest of the night: former Vice President Biden.
“It’s almost like you and President Obama left the door to the White House open and a bear got in,” Kimmel told Biden during their interview.
Earlier, during his opening monologue, Kimmel quipped, “When it Ukrains, it pours.”
“Republicans in Washington, they spent the morning diving under their desks like it was an earthquake drill,” Kimmel joked while opening his show. “They keep saying, ‘look at the transcript.’ There’s no quid pro quo, which maybe there’s no pro quo, but there’s a hell of a quid. There is a big ole quid.”
NBC “Late Night” host Seth Meyers focused on Trump’s reaction to the news in a clip posted on Twitter.
“Trump tweeted this morning that there is quote ‘no president in the history of our country who has been treated so badly as I have,’” Meyers said on Wednesday night. “Even more amazing, he tweeted it from the Abraham Lincoln room in the John F. Kennedy Library.”
In his “Closer Look” segment, Meyers said that before it was released some people had speculated that the transcript may be incomplete or edited.
“Remember this is the guy who literally doctored a hurricane map by drawing a circle in Sharpie to include Alabama,” Meyers said. “There was a good chance the supposed transcript would come out and the first line would be the president of the Ukraine saying, ‘thanks for being so innocent, sir!’”
Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show” said that it’s curious that Trump released the transcript at all.
“You might be wondering if this phone call is so damning, why did Trump even release the transcript?” Noah said Wednesday night. “Only an idiot would do that… Exactly.”
Noah also added that this is what Trump does.
“Trump is the only person who will do something so bad right out in the open that it makes you question whether it’s actually bad,” Noah said. “It’s the same way that Kanye [West] can walk around basically in rags, but because he does it so confidently we’re just like, ‘I guess that’s a style now?’”