The University of Virginia Cavaliers won the NCAA men’s basketball tournament last night, but not everyone was feeling in a celebratory mood, said Stephen Colbert on the Late Show. Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump’s secretary of homeland security and the face of Trump’s border enforcement, resigned from her job over the weekend. “I believe she’s leaving to spend more time separating her family,” Colbert surmised.
Nielsen did “not resign willingly”, according to several reports, though she recognized her job was “in limbo” for weeks. “Limbo is the right word here because we’ve all been watching how low she can go,” Colbert joked.
“Sure, she puts people in cages,” he continued, but Trump was disappointed that Nielsen didn’t enact even harsher immigration measures. “So he just needs someone who can be crueler to children than Kirstjen Nielsen,” Colbert said of the job search. “Get ready for secretary of homeland security: Pennywise.”
On top of being too light on separating children from their families, Nielsen was reportedly forced out by the White House adviser Stephen Miller. Relations between the two were reportedly so strained that it made people uncomfortable to be in the room with them. Luckily, “now that she’s out, Stephen Miller can go back to making people uncomfortable all by himself,” Colbert said.
On the Daily Show, Trevor Noah faux-mourned Nielsen for being “deported out of the White House”.
It’s hard to watch, he added, because “Nielsen is leaving this White House with her reputation in tatters.” She’s the face of the family separation policy, “so basically the only job she can get now is working for R Kelly”, Noah joked.
And yet, he continued, Nielsen was reportedly forced out because she wasn’t tough enough on immigration. “Not tough enough?” Noah marveled. “This White House is weird, man. How are you going to get rid of the kids in cages woman for being ‘too nice?’ That’s like firing a cat for not displaying its anus enough.”
Nielsen’s resignation isn’t that surprising, though, especially given Trump’s weekend comments at the Republican Jewish Coalition leadership meeting that asylum is a “scam”, peddled by people with face tattoos.
“Trump is clearly ignoring all the women and children who are claiming asylum – he’s obsessed with the pictures of the guys who look to him like UFC fighters,” Noah observed. “Which also might explain why he wants everyone in cages – he thinks it’s their natural habitat.”
This made sense to Noah, because with Trump, “It’s all about how people look. If you look like a big, tough guy, you can’t be an asylum seeker in his mind … It’s not your story or your life that President Trump cares about. It’s just how you look.”
On Late Night, Seth Meyers looked into the president’s increasingly paranoid rhetoric about the southern border. Last week, he threatened to close the border with Mexico, and when forced to back down, he said he would impose tariffs on Mexican imports if they did nothing to prevent migrants from reaching the US.
“Well, he’s been promising to build a wall for two years, so if I were Mexico, I wouldn’t be that worried,” Meyers said of the threats. “A one-year warning is such a lame threat – he’s like a high school bully with no follow-through. ‘You better give me your milk money, nerd, or I’ll beat you up as soon as the McRib comes back!’”
Given the perpetual Trump chaos, Meyers said Nielsen’s resignation was not a surprise. “I mean, this administration has more turnover than a Walmart on Black Friday.”
Nielsen, Meyers noted, will not leave the White House with much goodwill. She defended the president’s separation of parents and children, and mimicked the president’s language, even telling Congress that “from Congress, I would ask for wall. We need wall.”
“We need wall,” Meyers imitated. “Guess it’s not surprising they’re ignoring articles from the constitution – they’re ignoring articles altogether.
“Trump turns everyone he works with into Tarzan, it doesn’t matter how smart you are,” he added. “If Shakespeare had worked for Trump, the line would’ve been, ‘Be or not be, that is question.’”