"It's Day four of Shithole Gate," Stephen Colbert said at the top of his monologue Monday night, and it really has turned into a wilder story than just President Donald Trump allegedly describing African nations and Haiti as "shithole countries."
There were plenty of crazy developments over the weekend for them to dig into, with two senators first stating that they were unable to remember the president using that word, and then remembering definitively that he never did. Later, the word he reportedly used was even called into question ... but not the "shit" part of it.
The CBS late-night host was confident that he would be bleeped for saying "shithole," because "CBS has higher standards than the president." He was right about that. Nevertheless, he launched into a lengthy tirade about Trump's alleged usage of the word, and even his apparent boasting about it to friends afterward.
"He's like a toddler calling his mom to the potty," Colbert said, before dropping into his Trump impression: "Come look at the load I dropped in the national discourse."
Colbert then looked at the memory issues of senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue, who first issued a statement that they didn't recall the president using that term. "That's a non-denial denial," Colbert explained. "Your honor, I don't recall which knife I used to stab the victims specifically. The defense rests."
Later, they reversed course and said they clearly remembered Trump not using the term "shithole," but even that wasn't the strangest turn as a reporter for the Washington Post called doubt into the very word the president allegedly used. Was it "shithole" or "shithouse."
"That changes everything. He didn't say shithole, he said shithouse!" Colbert said. "Either way, Trump is being a complete asshouse, who maybe doesn't belong in the White Hole."
"This weekend we learned just how much news anchors have been dying to say 'shithole,'" Meyers said, marveling at how pervasively the word was used across the news media. But did the president ever actually use it?
After Republican senators couldn't get their story straight in his defense, Trump took his usual aggrandizing approach, telling reporters, "I'm not a racist. I'm the least racist person you ever interviewed."
"Man, who else has that reporter interviewed?" Meyers asked. "Just Paula Deen?!"
The NBC star got himself confused about the term the president may or may not have used. "There's debate about whether he used the word shithole or shithouse," he said. "In the meantime, Trump referred all questions on the matter to the White Hole -- I mean House, the White House."
The president faced a public shaming for the alleged incident when someone emblazoned the word "shithole" on the front of his hotel in Washington, DC. "It got even worse when Motel 6 sued them for copyright infringement," Fallon joked. "Hey come on! That's not funny! That's our thing! You've taken it too far now!"
It wasn't all bad news for Trump, though, as Fallon touted that his former communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, came to his defense. "At the end of the day, he's not a racist," Scaramucci said, according to Fallon. "During the day it's a different story, but at the end -- not at the end.
ABC's late-night host looked at another Trump administration member, who seemed for a moment to be distancing himself from his boss. "Even Ben Carson seems to be souring on Trump," Kimmel marveled about Trump's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who spoke at a church in Alabama.
"I'm a member of this administration and I don't agree with the president about everything he says," Carson said in his speech."
"Looks like someone is finally waking up," Kimmel marveled. But Carson wasn't finished.
"I don't even agree with everything I've said," he continued.
"And right back to sleep," Kimmel added. "He was so close!"
The Comedy Central star couldn't believe Fox News was still so quick to jump to Trump's defense, even in this instance. "Fox News is the greatest improv troupe of all time, because whatever Trump says, they immediately find a way to agree," he marveled.
But what surprised him even more was the strange twist the story took over the weekend when it was posited the president may have said "shithouse" instead of "shithole." He imagined people in Africa saying, "Oh, that changes everything. We live in a shithouse, not a shithole! Ah, Donald Trump! At least now we have a shit-roof over our head."
But Noah's biggest concern was losing sight of the forest for the shit-trees. "The president of the United States condemning entire groups of people as worthless and undesirable based on what country they happen to be born in, that's the story," he emphasized. "The whole situation reminds me of 'grab 'em by the pussy,' because the words are shocking at first. But then, that's all some people end up focusing on.
"With that story, Trump could have said, 'I prefer to grab women by the front-butt.' It's still him bragging about sexual assault," Noah asserted. "The same way writing off a whole continent as a 'shithouse' or a 'shithole' is still the president being racist ... while negotiating immigration policy."