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Seth Meyers unpacks the absurdity of Trump calling anyone else part of a mob on Late Night

Seth Meyers
Screenshot: Late Night With Seth Meyers

With the most important midterm elections in recent history fast approaching, Seth Meyers took a long look at Donald Trump and the Republicans’ campaign rhetoric on Monday’s Late Night. Surprisingly, he was unimpressed, especially by Trump’s newest talking point about the Democrats being “a mob” for getting all riled up just because four sitting Supreme Court justices have now been appointed by presidents who lost the popular vote, and Republican gerrymandering and illegal voter suppression have ensured that laws are being written by those representing far fewer Americans. You know, whiny baby stuff like that. As Meyers put it, when the fix is in and democracy isn’t working because of it, Republican lawmakers should, at the very least, expect a little one-on-one constituent anger over their filet mignon.

But that hasn’t stopped Trump and Trump apologists from harping on the whole “mob” idea when describing the massive, mounting, vocal opposition to this administration’s long list of crimes, scams, and racist provocations. Posting up a picture of Trump’s inner circle in the Oval Office, Meyers referred to the government being run “like a protection racket,” and claimed that, if you photoshopped a picture of The Godfather’s Clemenza in there, nobody would notice. (Okay, maybe the hat.) For reference, Meyers pointed to Trump’s recent praise for the actions of Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT), when the then-campaigning Republican physically assaulted Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs for having the temerity to ask questions about health care. Noting that Trump is calling “violent criminal” Gianforte “my guy” at the same moment he’s eagerly lapping up bullshit alibis from Saudi Arabia’s government about the apparent, government-sanctioned torture and murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Meyers suggested that there’s another whole mob mentality at play here.


Playing clips of Trump bragging about how much money he personally makes off of Saudi investments in his gaudy, gilded real estate holdings, Meyers stated that Trump’s corruption is so blatant and public that it becomes hard to keep straight. Giving it a shot, Meyers called Trump’s “They spend $40 million, $50 million, am I supposed to dislike them?” campaign quote about his Saudi benefactors “the literal definition of a bribe.” Continuing, Meyers compared Trump’s attitude to that of a bank robber complaining to police that, just because he pulled a gun on a teller who then handed him a bagful of cash, “What am I supposed to do, not take it?” So praising violent thuggery, offering to wave along murderers for payment, and rigging the system to one’s own advantage—as Meyers put it, there’s only one Mob in Washington at the moment.

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.