Several late-night hosts began their weeks by addressing the March 15 mosque shootings that left 50 people dead in Christchurch, New Zealand — and they were none too pleased by President Trump’s response to the tragedy.
Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers all criticized Trump on Monday night, particularly after he wrote off the white nationalist movement as “a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.” (An Australian man who was arrested for his role in the shootings has been described as a white supremacist, and he published a manifesto that included alt-right ideology.)
“Of course you don’t see [white nationalism] as a threat. You called for a ban on Muslims coming to the U.S., and you’re trying to build a wall to keep out Mexican asylum seekers,” Meyers said during his newest Closer Look segment. “Asking Trump if he sees white nationalism as a threat is like asking Joe Camel if he sees tobacco as a threat.”
Noah took the criticism a step further during Monday’s taping of The Daily Show, telling his audience in between takes that Trump is “inspired by the same things as the shooter in New Zealand. They’re products of the same white supremacy.”
Though Noah said he doesn’t believe Trump is directly responsible for the shootings in New Zealand, he admitted that the president’s rhetoric does contribute to the likelihood of future violence.
“In many ways, Trump is similar to climate change,” Noah added. “I don’t think you can pin any one storm directly on climate change, but you’ve got to admit that climate change has an effect on increasing the probability of these storms. And I feel like Trump is the same thing. I don’t think he’s the cause of any of these things. But he does, in some way, raise the temperature enough that we’ll see more of these things happening.”
Colbert addressed the Christchurch tragedy in two separate Late Show segments. During his monologue, he played a sound bite of Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, who asked for Trump to show “sympathy and love for all Muslim communities” — a request that Colbert believes is wishful thinking.
“That’s not really Trump’s brand,” he said. “Trump has trouble showing love for things that are not him, and he has a particularly bad record with Muslims in this regard, so he’s in a bind.”
Later, Colbert became more solemn at his desk, offering heartfelt condolences to those affected by the shootings: “I pray with all my heart that they have the courage to take action that we seem to lack up here in the United States.”
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