Colbert on classified documents: ‘No one in executive branch has ever purchased a shredder?’

Late-night hosts discuss Biden’s documents issue and Donald Trump’s self-centered eulogy for a superfan

Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert tried to get a handle on the slowly unfolding story of classified documents found in Biden’s private offices, after another six were discovered on Friday. “How could American be $31tn in debt and yet apparently no one in executive branch has ever purchased a shredder?” The Late show host wondered on Monday evening.

“Apparently all politicians just hoard classified material. I’m starting to wonder how Jimmy Carter insulates all those habitats for humanity.”

The new documents include handwritten notes that span Biden’s time in the Senate and as vice-president. “The Senate? He joined the Senate, no lie, 50 years ago,” Colbert laughed. “Those notes are ancient. One of them was ‘find out who put the bop in the bop-shoo-bop-shoo-bop.’

“Of course, Republicans want to say Biden’s situation is the same as the former president’s but there’s one big difference: they’re different,” Colbert explained. For one, Biden consented to a planned, consensual search and voluntarily allowed the FBI into his home. “So he’s either cooperating, or his adult children are trying to get someone else to clean out grandpa’s junk.”

The host then turned to another favorite target of late: disgraced New York congressman George Santos, who has also gone by the name Anthony Devolder, among other lies. After evidence was uncovered that Santos once performed as a drag queen in Brazil – a crime to some Republicans – Santos told reporters: “I was young and having fun at a festival. Sue me for having a life.”

“Oh, George, no one is mad at you for having a life!” said Colbert. “They’re mad at you for having, like, five lives.”

Seth Meyers

The new batch of classified documents found at Biden’s Delaware residence “isn’t great for Biden”, said Seth Meyers on Late Night. “He shouldn’t have had those documents. But the revelations have led to some very silly punditry claiming that Biden is somehow in the same position as Donald Trump.”

Meyers went on to delineate the difference between Biden and Trump: “They’re like two guys who got pulled over for erratic driving,” he said. “Biden immediately rolls down the window, hands over his license and registration, passes the breathalyzer and says sorry officer but in my defense, even stone-cold sober I do this.

“Trump, on the other hand, is the guy who refuses to pull over, gets chased down, goes over those one-way spikes in the parking lot, blows out his tire, drives for another mile on sparking rims, crashes into a duck pond, gives cocaine and a gun to a duck and says ‘if anyone asks, this is yours,’” he continued. “Tries to swim away even though the pond is shallow enough to stand, gets to the other side where the police are waiting for him and says, ‘Oh, I didn’t realize I was living in Soviet Russia.’

“It’s possible to hold two thoughts in our heads at once,” Meyers concluded. “Biden shouldn’t have had those documents, but also comparing these two situations is ludicrous.”

The Daily Show

At this point, the FBI is just decluttering Biden's house for him. @iamwandasykes

— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) January 24, 2023

On The Daily Show, new guest host Wanda Sykes also offered takes on Biden’s classified documents snafu. “At this point, the FBI is just decluttering Biden’s house for him,” she joked. “They’re like Marie Kondo going around his rooms, like ‘this list of spies does not spark joy.’

“Honestly, this doesn’t bother me at all,” she added. “I mean, come one, the man has been in public office for 238 years. I bet you most of the shit he has isn’t even classified any more.

“You read his notes and it’s like ‘keep an eye on this Hitler guy,’” she continued. “It’s just history now. They’re teaching this stuff in schools – well, not in Florida.”

But at least Biden was cooperating with the FBI, Sykes noted. “In fact, he’s been so cooperative, it makes me wonder – is he hoping they do work around the house for him?”

Jimmy Kimmel

“Just when you think you’ve seen Donald Trump at his Trumpiest, he shows up at a funeral and sets a new world record for ridiculousness,” said Jimmy Kimmel on Monday.

That new record was set at a memorial service for Lynette Hardaway, AKA Diamond of Diamond and Silk, two well-known Trump superfans. Over a hundred mourners gathered to hear the former president wax poetic about one of his most loyal fans, “and he almost did”, said Kimmel. “He almost spoke about her.”

Instead, for 44 minutes, Trump rambled about Nafta, tax cuts, crowd size, illegal immigration, the election, why they don’t put Melania on magazine covers any more, and bragged about how The Apprentice was the No 1 show on television. Basically, “this speech had all the sincerity and grace you could possibly expect from the man who buried the mother of his children at the 16th hole of his golf course,” said Kimmel.

“And the crazy thing is I bet he thinks it went great,” he added. “I bet he feels like he just won a Soul Train award.”

Guardian staff

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