A day away from one of the most effective Jan. 6 committee hearings yet, Seth Meyers processed the shocking testimony of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. Hutchinson told the committee that Trump knew his mob was armed, that his staff planned to storm the Capitol, and that Trump was trying to snatch a wheel from a Secret Service agent when they refused to take him there.
Hutchinson’s testimony was so stunning, Meyers said, that even Fox News “tried to summarize what had happened, and when they were done, they sat there in awkward silence trying to figure out whose turn it was to talk.”
The moment was “like when you get in the car with your parents after they take you to a movie with way more nudity than they expected,” the Late Night host said.
“So the plan has always been for Trump to join the crowd in the Capitol, which, suffice it to say, would have been horrific and impossible to comprehend,” he continued. “And Trump’s cronies, including Mark Meadows, knew things could get ugly to say the least. And Meadows, in particular, didn’t seem to care.’
Hutchinson recalled asking Meadows, the White House chief of staff and her boss, about the plan days before January 6. Meadows didn’t look up from his phone and replied, “There’s a lot going on, Cass. I don’t know, maybe it will get really bad on January 6th.
“He was responding to plans for a coup like an exhausted father who was just told his kids were playing with a bobcat they found in the woods,” Meyers noted.
“So on the one hand, while an unprecedented constitutional crisis was unfolding, there were people like Hutchinson who were at least paying attention and asking questions,” he added. “And then on the other side there were guys like Mark Meadows, who was just totally confused and acted like nothing was wrong. Dude was just scrolling on his phone and ignoring pleas for help like a lifeguard at a swimming pool who has only one guess left in Wordle.
“This hearing was really shocking, and I really didn’t think I had the capacity to be shocked anymore,” he continued. Even Fox News seemed dazed and paralyzed by how devastating it was.
“At this point, we don’t need any more evidence. We need the Justice Department to act on it.”
On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert also commented on Hutchinson’s testimony that “was such a game-changer, even Fox News didn’t know how to run it”.
Colbert made a clip of analysis after hearing Fox anchor Brett Baier say “the testimony in itself is really, really powerful” to silence the other two Fox anchors. (A Fox News spokesperson explained that Tuesday was a missed cue between anchors at separate studios in New York and DC.)
“That’s quite a pause,” Colbert noted. “That explains the Fox News tagline: ‘Fair and… indeed yes, we’re still here.'”
In the end, co-anchor Sandra Smith said, “Up to your point, I wonder for the country watching this right now, how much this changes what people believed or didn’t believe.”
“That wasn’t his point at all, Sandra,” Colbert remarked. “I believe his point was a ‘very strong testimony’. Who cares if it changes what viewers believe? Your job is to report the news, not speculate how your audience will react!”
In other bad news for Trump, House Committee Vice Chairman Liz Cheney closed the hearing by raising concerns about possible manipulation of witnesses by an “unknown person.”
“Who could it be?” said Colbert, breaking out his Trump impression. “How stupid do you have to be to commit crimes while being investigated for other crimes?”
And in The Daily Show, Trevor Noah explored the chilling ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v Wade last week. “Since the Supreme Court ruled that having a child is a sacred choice between a woman and her state legislature, abortion laws have been chaotic,” he said. Some states have banned abortions, others have protected the right to the procedure, and others have banned it only to get their courts to overturn that ban until they ban it.
“So right now, women’s reproductive rights are as unpredictable as the McRib — it’s here, it’s gone, it’s here, it’s gone, it’s back!” Noah explained.
To enforce bans in certain states, aggressive prosecutors could use data from period-tracking apps or search history to prove that women have requested an abortion. “Which is a very unhealthy habit in a relationship in the first place,” Noah said. “You’re not looking in anyone’s phone, okay? It destroys trust. Do not do it. And also, what a shit world for women to live in.
“You should be using your phone for everything, especially keeping track of your period or where to find an abortion clinic,” he continued. “Like how are you going to search for abortion pills without Google? Are you just going to write a question on a piece of paper, throw it out the window and hope for the best?
“That’s where we are in America now: women who take care of their own health have to cover their tracks online as if they were planning a robbery,” he concluded. “They have to turn off location services, they have to talk to each other through encrypted apps. They must kill the Duolingo owl before he betrays them in English and Italian.”