Stephen Colbert unpacked arguably the most shocking hearing yet from the January 6 committee on Tuesday, thanks to Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to Donald Trump’s last White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows.
According to Hutchinson, Meadows was aware of the rally’s intentions ahead of time, and told her “things might get real, real bad on January 6.”
“So, the president’s chief of staff knew there could be terrible consequences, and went ahead with it anyway?!” said Colbert. “This mob showed up to his rally ready for violence,” but because of their weapons – guns, knives, spears tied to the top of flag poles, bear spray – they were being stopped at the magnetic security gates, thus lessening the size of Trump’s crowd. Hutchinson said she heard the ex-president shout, ‘I don’t care that they have weapons. They’re not here to hurt me, take the fucking [security gates] away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.’
“So he was cool with his mob being armed because he knew he wasn’t the one they wanted to attack,” Colbert translated. “That’s like hearing, ‘Hello, 911, state your emergency… uh huh… well, all I know is I’m not the one being stabbed, this sounds like a you problem.’
“We’ve heard how the former president wanted to go with the marchers along to the Capitol for the attack – presumably to batter his way into the Senate chamber with a meatball sub,” Colbert continued, “but Hutchinson told us today just how desperate he was to join his mob.”
Hutchinson told the committee that following the rally, Trump tried to grab the steering wheel from a Secret Service agent after he refused to drive him to the Capitol. “That is insane,” said Colbert, “although it is going to make a great season premiere of Kleptocrats in Cars Seizing Power.”
Hutchinson also confirmed that Meadows sought a presidential pardon from Trump for his role in the riot. “The president’s own chief of staff wanted a Get Out of Jail Free card,” Colbert explained. “But he didn’t get it, so hopefully soon he will not pass Go, not collect $200, and go directly to jail.”
On the Daily Show, Trevor Noah also reacted to Hutchinson’s testimony that Trump tried to snatch the steering wheel from a Secret Service agent. “That is insane,” he said. “Trump fighting to take control of the president’s car like he’s the bad guy in an action movie, only he’s the president and this is real life?
“Although you have to admit, though, fighting your own Secret Service agent is kinda genius on Trump’s part. Because he’s hitting the one person who can’t hit back.
“This whole thing shows you how lazy Trump is,” Noah added. “The Capitol is like two miles away. Everyone else walked there. But Trump was like ‘I could walk there, I could walk … or I could steal a car from the Secret Service.’
“Not to victim-blame, but this is on the Secret Service,” Noah joked. “You had four years to Trump-proof that vehicle. You knew who you were dealing with. There should’ve been a toy steering wheel in the passenger seat the whole time.”
And on Late Night, Seth Meyers joined the millions of Americans outraged over the supreme court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade, which left the right to bodily autonomy “incinerated by a corrupt gang of unaccountable, rightwing theocrats who definitely think the Scarlet Letter was a comedy”.
“Americans are understandably outraged that the supreme court decided on a whim to shred abortion rights purely because they could,” Meyers started, “and went even further, essentially announcing through Thomas’s concurrence that it would target contraception, marriage equality and privacy next.
“And yet, the shameless weirdos on the right, instead of confronting the reality for millions of Americans who just lost a fundamental constitutional right – putting their health at risk and relegating them to second-class status – chose absurdly to accuse pro-abortion activists of staging riots,” he continued, pointing to the Fox News pundit Jeanine Pirro calling nationwide protests “hissy fits.” Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee told Fox News that “the far left” was “always looking for something to scream about and burn buildings over.”
Meyers had no patience for the deflections. “Whenever a news story happens that Fox News knows is bad for Republicans politically, like overturning an overwhelmingly popular constitutional right, Fox tries to pivot by convincing your grandparents that antifa is currently outside their house right now threatening to steal their flagstones and take their lawn gnomes hostage,” he said.
“They love to do this childish thing where they accuse the left of doing the thing they actually did,” he continued. “Like they’re the ones who fomented a violent coup to overthrow the government.”
And “when they’re not lying and calling the left violent, they’re lying and calling the left hysterical”, he continued. “Because, again: they’re aware that this could be bad for them politically. So they’re trying to have it both ways, by celebrating their victory while gaslighting everyone into thinking nothing has actually been banned.”
Meyers played a series of clips in which GOP lawmakers such as the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, and Senators Marsha Blackburn and Marco Rubio stressed that the end of Roe v Wade was not a ban on abortion. (Abortion is now banned or threatened in half of US states.)
“Nothing’s been banned? Are you insane?” Meyers smoked. “This is the fucking worst Jedi mind trick I’ve ever seen.
“This ruling was not theoretical,” he concluded. “It put millions of women and people who can become pregnant in jeopardy immediately.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism