Seth Meyers took aim at President Donald Trump on Monday, criticizing him for a tweet posted over the weekend about 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.
Meyers opened showing a clip of Warren saying that Trump was the “latest and most extreme symptom of what has gone wrong in America. Myers then joked about Warren’s words and showed clips of the president stumbling during speeches.
“Warren isn’t alone among Democrats in wanting to focus on policy and on the specific ways in which the system has failed working people,” Meyers said. “The entire Democratic party’s messaging in the midterms was focused on issues like health care and voter suppression and it produced the largest margin of victory in midterms history. So, naturally, Trump has responded to that message with his only move: racism.”
On Saturday, shortly after Warren officially announced her candidacy for president, Trump ridiculed the Massachusettes senator with a tweet that said, “Today Elizabeth Warren, sometimes referred to by me as Pocahontas, joined the race for President. Will she run as our first Native American presidential candidate, or has she decided that after 32 years, this is not playing so well anymore? See you on the campaign TRAIL, Liz!”
Many responded to say that Trump’s reference to the campaign “TRAIL” meant the Trail of Tears, the genocide and forced relocation of Native Americans from their homelands in North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama, to reservations in Oklahoma.
Some Republicans rushed to defend the president, including Fox News analyst Brett Hume, who retweeted a criticism of the tweet from Rolling Stone writer Jamil Smith, with the comment, “Yes, because Trump is noted for his knowledge of 19th century American history vis a vis the native population. Jeez.”
“They’re actually defending Trump by saying he’s too dumb to be racist,” Meyers said. “First of all, if you ever find yourself asking is Trump dumb or is he racist, the answer is most likely C ‘all of the above.'”
Meyers went on to say that the president has stated that he is a “big fan” of former President Andrew Jackson, who saw the passage of the 1830 Indian Removal Act that began the Trail of Tears.
Meyers played audio of an April 2017 interview with SiriusXM host Salena Zito for the Washington Examiner where the president stated that “they” said his presidential campaign and subsequent election was “most like Andrew Jackson.” The “they” the president refers to in the clip is unclear.
“I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War,” Trump continued, “He was really angry that he saw what was happening in regard to the Civil War. He said ‘there’s no reason for this.’ People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, um, you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”
The president later doubled down on his thoughts in a tweet, saying, “President Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the Civil War started, saw it coming and was angry. Would never have let it happen!”
“What do you mean, why was there the Civil War?” Meyers asked once the audio clip concluded, “Everyone knows why. It’s not like the first line of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was ‘I don’t know why I’m doing this.'”
“Trump and his allies are clearly rattled by the fact that for the first time they have to face real questions from the Democrats running for president or investigating them in Congress,” Meyers continued. The talk show host went on to cite Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker telling Rep. Jerrod Nadler that he was out of time to ask questions during Whitaker’s testimony during a congressional hearing last week.