Stephen Colbert on Trump’s refusal to testify in trial: ‘Did he write himself a check for $130,000?’ | Late-night TV roundup

Late-night hosts recapped Donald Trump’s unfulfilled promises to testify at his criminal hush-money trial in New York.

Stephen Colbert

Testimony ended on Tuesday in the first criminal trial ever for a former president of the United States. “Now, it may not have been the Trump trial we all wanted, it may not be about his most hideous crimes, but damn it – at least he farted,” said Stephen Colbert on the Late Show. “They can never take that away from us.”

“Today was Trump’s chance to wake up and snort a line of gas station energy powder and get on that stand to prove that this is all a big Joe Biden witch-hunt,” Colbert continued, but it was confirmed on Tuesday that Trump would not testify in his own trial. “That is shocking – Trump is not talking? What happened? Did he write himself a check for $130,000?” Colbert joked.

The trial is not over yet; closing arguments will wrap next week, and the judge will give the jury instructions for their deliberation. Colbert imagined how it would play out: “Thank you for your instructions, your honor. We will return with a verdict after careful deliberation … yeah, he’s guilty.”

Outside the courthouse, the crowds have been much smaller than the police prepared for, according to the New York Times, and included amateur puppeteers, a DJ with a portable speaker and a self-proclaimed “most successful” sex capsule salesman in Idaho, Utah and Nevada. “Really makes you feel for the second-most successful sex capsule salesman in Idaho, Utah and Nevada,” Colbert joked.

Without grassroots support, Trump “has been forced to call in the Maga goons on his behalf”, Colbert added. So far 25 members of Congress have attended, including Matt Gaetz, the Florida representative “who was mostly there for the sex capsules”, he quipped.

Jimmy Kimmel

“Our former president and future convicted felon, who after saying who knows how many times he would absolutely testify, has opted not to testify – and the defense has rested their case,” Jimmy Kimmel summarized on Tuesday evening.

“Of course, no day with Donald Trump would be complete without a mention of the size of the crowd,” he added before a clip of Trump outside the courthouse, claiming that crowd size is “not a really big thing for us, we don’t really care that much”.

“Yeah, right”, Kimmel scoffed. “If there’s one thing we know about Donald Trump, it’s that he couldn’t care less about crowd size.”

Still, Trump claimed he had “a lot” of supporters outside the courthouse. “No, there aren’t,” said Kimmel. “I drove by there last week – I was in New York – and there’s no one. You have no supporters in your home town.

“The only supporters Trump has in New York is the army of ass-kissers who fly in from Washington every day to suckle his teats on camera,” he added.

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Kimmel also mocked a new Trump campaign video in which the words “unified reich” appear in grayscale beneath the fake headline: “TRUMP WINS!”

“Trump wants to bring the country together. The bad news, that country is Germany in 1933,” Kimmel said. Trump’s campaign claims that it wasn’t Trump’s team who made the video, and that Trump himself did not repost it. “It was one of the junior Nazis who works for him,” said Kimmel. “What else does this man need to do for people to see what he is? Grow the moustache?”

The Daily Show

Trump has been saying for months how much he wants to testify, and today he finally had the opportunity. The floor is yours, big guy!

— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) May 22, 2024

Trump’s trial is near completion, and “just like Stormy Daniels said, it was over much more quickly than expected”, said guest host Michael Kosta on The Daily Show. And despite saying he was ready to testify under oath, Trump declined to testify in his defense.

“He’s like, ‘Let’s do it, swear me in on that shiny book that Mike Pence is always blah blah blah-ing about,’” Kosta recapped.

But “after talking such a big game, he’s not testifying?! So he’s doing the opposite of what he told us he was going to do over and over again? That’s not the Donald Trump I know,” Kosta deadpanned.

“It’s just so peculiar that outside the courtroom, with his legal pads of notes, he just talks and talks,” he continued. “But then if you ask him to walk just a few feet inside the courtroom and to swear to tell the truth under penalty of law, suddenly he’s afraid to speak? I mean, what’s the difference? Is it the fluorescent lighting? I mean, I hate to even come to this conclusion, but … is it possible that Donald Trump is full of shit?”

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