On Late Night last night, Seth Meyers gave a “Closer Look” – and a resounding (albeit bleeped, as it was network television) “fuck you” — to Donald Trump’s false claim that it was actually Hillary Clinton’s campaign who started the birther movement. It was a near-10 minute segment that had The Daily Beast noting that this sees Meyers “leapfrogging” Jimmy Fallon in the eyes of the public, given Fallon’s cozy, acritical chat with Donald Trump last week — proving to anyone who was unconvinced that his Tonight Show has very little interest beyond what can go viral. Meyers took aim at how Trump’s questioning of the U.S.’s first black president’s legitimacy earned him the trust of voters on the far Right, and how suddenly he just decided, in a still wholly unapologetic statement last week, to pretend that he’d stopped employing that rhetoric long ago.
“Nice hotel — under budget and ahead of schedule,” Trump declared in opening his statement, which took place at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. — and Meyers begins by accusing Trump of once again shamelessly using his political platform to plug his own business. Meyer says:
‘Obama was born in the United States. Period?’ Fuck you, exclamation point! You don’t get to peddle racist rhetoric for five years and decide when it’s over. We decide when it’s over! And it’s certainly not over after a thirty-second statement in the middle of a hotel commercial.
Meyers emphasizes one of the most ersatz elements of the whole ersatz thing is that Trump is attempting to convince people that his birtherism ended when Obama released his birth certificate in 2011, a claim supported by Chris Christie, despite the fact that Trump’s continued pushing skepticism about Obama’s Americanness until — well, the moment he gave that lame speech about his hotel/his politics (which, as they were stated in the speech, are, you know, not actually his politics.) Meyers points out that while Hillary continues to get intense media scrutiny for her emails, unlike Chris Christie’s bridge scandal, her email server never “stuck an ambulance in traffic, you cartoon gangster.” Meyers then shares a series of quotes — following 2011 — of Trump perpetuating birther rhetoric by saying again and again that the birth certificate Obama shared was fake. “I’m not sure the guy who holds fake press conferences, has a fake university, a fake foundation, fake hair and a fake tan should be the one in charge of deciding what’s real.” At the end of the segment, which also delves into Trump’s conspiratorial Tweets about the issue, Meyer notes that within the great, under-budget hotel he’d set up, the stage very symbolically began falling apart following the press conference.