Congressional Democrats have been digging up damning evidence of Donald Trump’s quid pro quo in the Ukraine, while Republicans have been doing everything they can to muss up narrative. For most people, the result is… a can of worms.
The television news shows and mainstream media are like a lost ball in high grass trying to explain the issues, but late night comics had no problem breaking down the controversy.
Even a fifth grader could understand it, or someone, ahem, with a fifth grade mentality.
The investigation blew up in the face of Republicans yesterday when Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, suddenly revised his previous testimony.
He’d claimed two weeks ago he had no knowledge about President Trump tying Ukrainian military aid to an investigation of his chief political rival Joe Biden.
But he said yesterday his memory had been “refreshed” by other testimony. Now he recalls telling a Ukrainian official that Trump indeed expected a quid pro quo.
Donald Trump (aka Alec Baldwin) Goofs in SNL Impeachment Cold Open; Who said no Quid Pro Quo? (Watch!)
Yikes! Only days ago, Republicans where citing Sondland’s initial testimony as key evidence there was no quid pro quo! Even Trump tweeted about it. WTF?
No wonder people are confused. But never fear, humor has a way of bringing things into focus.
“I don’t want to get out over my skis here, but I’m beginning to think this Donald Trump fella’ might get impeached,” said Stephen Colbert in his monologue opening.
“I’ll tell you why; the Democrats keep releasing these transcripts and the evidence is pretty damning, in that, it’s exactly what we already knew.”
He noted that the latest transcripts came with “hot bonus tracks.” That would be Sondland’s revised testimony.
“It turns out, yes, there was a quid pro quo. Now why did Sondland amend his testimony?
Parodying the ambassador, Colbert riffed:
“According to him, incriminating testimony from other witnesses, like Bill Taylor, ‘refreshed my recollection about certain conversations.’ [imitating Sondland] Huh, you know what? That testimony I just heard really refreshed the old noodle here. You know, it made me remember one important detail: that I don’t want to go to jail for perjury.’”
Check out the video:
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Of course, “The Late Show’s” Trevor Noah had his own take on the controversy.
“Wow, so this guy is just revising the testimony he gave under oath? We can’t even edit our tweets, but this guy is walking into Congress just like, ‘Oh, you said “quid pro quo.” I thought you said “squid pro quo.” “Quid” makes so much more sense. Yeah, we totally did one of those.’”
As bad as that looked, Noah sympathized.
“I’ll be honest. I feel bad for Sondland because he was the first to testify, all right?” he said.
“And he probably thought everyone was going to have his back and also say there was no quid pro quo. But then instead everyone snitched on him, and now he’s like, ‘Yeah, no, no — I’m also changing my story.’”
“It’s sort of like when you’re a teenager and you told your friends, ‘All right, remember, we tell our parents there was no liquor at this party, ok? And, then, you tell your parents the story and your friends say, ‘Yeah, Trevor brought the liquor.’ And you’re like, ah…I would like to revise my earlier story.”
Check out the video. His Sondland riff begins at 1:41 into his monologue.
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Jimmy Kimmel has gone a few rounds with Trump on previous issues and may be the only late-night comic called out by the president on social media. Needless to say, the Sondland reversal was easily explained.
“I know I say this a lot, but it was a day of high drama in Congress, more than usual even,” Kimmel riffed. “There was a major plot twist in this ongoing quid pro quo show.”
“Gee, I wonder what jogged his memory? Maybe he started taking those Omega-3 supplements or something. They say those are very effective against perjury.”
“It turns out there was a quid pro quo, which we already knew, but now we KNOW, which means our president… might not be telling the truth. I know I’m disappointed in him, too. I really am.”
Kimmel poured it on, noting that all five top Democratic candidates would beat Trump in a general election, and he took shots at Donald Trump Jr.’s new book.
“It was a bigly day for his third favorite son, Donald Jr., who released his first book today. It’s called ‘Triggered,’ which is funny because just like everything DJTJ tries to do, Joe Rogan did three years ago. But this is some book. He attacks Obama, Robert Mueller, CNN, Mitt Romney, George Bush, liberals, the media, the liberal media. Basically, for 18 dollars, you get to read his father’s Twitter account.”
Check out the video:
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James Cordon, who isn’t especially political, being a Brit and all, also riffed on Trump and Sondland. But he did his late night rivals one better. He brought on a couple of special, we mean really special, guests.
“The thing we all knew to be true about President Trump turned out to be true,” he gasped. “What are the chances?”
“The ambassador has now revised his testimony, while I imagine President Trump is now revising the ambassador’s employment status.”
Cordon went off on a hilarious tangent about a Republican National Committee stunt to flood the phone lines of House Democrats with anti-impeachment messages.
“These monsters! Phone calls? To a land line? If they left voice mails too they should be charged with war crimes,” he joked.
“Now here’s the problem with calling someone to jam up their phone lines; you’re also jamming up your phone lines!”
Now you get it.
Check out the video: