"Master negotiator" Donald Trump met with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday, and by Monday afternoon the response was unanimous: it was an unmitigated disaster. After the media took their shots, late-night unloaded on Trump that evening.
It was a moment of great unity for the divided states of America as politicians from both sides of the aisle, and even Fox News agreed that the meeting did not go well for the president, the nation and our standing on the foreign stage. Suddenly, walking in front of the Queen of England didn't look so bad when compared to kowtowing to Putin and siding with him over U.S. intelligence regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The problem, as Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers and Trevor Noah see it, is that Trump seems convinced that admitting to Russian interference is admitting to Russian collusion, but that just isn't the case. "Fox & Friends" even spent Tuesday morning trying to drill that very point into Trump's brain, as they know he's a regular watcher, as reported by The Daily Beast.
After all, Trump said live during a press conference that Putin was "extremely strong and powerful" in denying Russia's involvement in the election, despite the fact it came just three days after the Department of Justice indicted 12 Russians for hacking into DNC servers and distributing emails, with substantial, specific and damning evidence against them. When asked pointedly if he would denounce Russia's alleged involvement and warn Putin not to do it again, Trump waffled.
He said, "[Putin] said it's not Russia. I will say this, I don't see any reason why it would be." The president then touted Putin's "incredible offer" to invite U.S. intelligence officials to come to Russia and work with his own officials on the case against the 12 Russian citizens.
"Helsinki has frozen over," Jimmy Kimmel told his audience. "The president of the United States today publicly sided with Russia over our own FBI on the subject of cyber-attacks on our election campaign."
As for Putin's "incredible offer," Kimmel concluded, "Putin's just having fun with this now. He actually offered to have his intelligence agents investigate the hacking of our election. That's like Papa John offering to investigate who's been saying all the racist stuff at the company."
The press conference came after a two-hour closed-door session between Trump and Putin, with only their translators in attendance. "Reportedly Trump wanted to meet with Putin alone because he didn't want his advisors to see him naked, which is natural," Kimmel joked, calling it a meeting between Trump and "his KGBFF Vladimir Putin."
During the press conference, Putin was asked if he wanted Trump to win the 2016 election, and also if he had meddled in it. His response, as Stephen Colbert showed it, was, "Yes I did." Now, this was likely just his response to the first part of the question, but it nevertheless stunned Colbert.
"That is shocking," he marveled at the clip. "Mostly because I'm not used to a president telling the truth."
As for whether or not he had any dirt on President Trump, Putin said that Trump visited Russia as a private citizen with a whole slew of other high-ranking business officials. He asked if reporters really thought he would spy on all of them. Stephen Colbert knew the answer to this one, though.
"When I was in Russia, I was followed everywhere I went and I'm a comedian," he noted. "I was informed by our security people, in no uncertain terms, that my phone was bugged and my room had cameras in it. So I showered in a blue blazer."
Jimmy Fallon thought Donald Trump looked a little nervous during the press conference, "which makes sense, 'cause most people are nervous when meeting their boss."
He put together a video splicing Trump sound bites so he seemed to be singing Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now," as a tribute to how Trump felt about that closed-door meeting.
"According to experts, Trump and Putin had a lot to negotiate in their meeting," Fallon pointed out. "Trump says the negotiations went great. Putin now controls New York and California and in exchange Trump got three magic beans."
He added, "It went so well, Putin said he might make Trump president for another four years."
Trevor Noah took note of Trump saying he didn't see any reason to doubt Putin's denial of Russian involvement. "The man was a top KGB spy," he said. "He'll steal the shirt off your back. Hell, he stole the shirt off his own back." At this, Noah threw up the famous shot of Putin on horseback with no shirt on.
He also couldn't believe Trump called Putin's offer to help in the investigation "incredible," saying, ""Either Putin has something on Trump, which is why he's doing whatever he wants, or Trump is just an idiot who got played."
His conclusion? "This what you get when you put a KGB agent up against a KFC agent."
Seth Meyers broke it down during his latest "A Closer Look" segment, telling his audience, "However low your expectations were, Trump managed to go much lower."
With extra time, he delved into Trump fawning over Russia's hosting of the just finished World Cup, including when he apparently explained to Putin that we call it soccer here. "Everyone knows we call it soccer in the United States," Meyers said. "Trump's like a college sophomore on his first trip abroad. 'You know, in America we call the loo a toilet.'"
He couldn't get over how much Trump seemed to capitulate to whatever Putin said, agreeing with Putin's denial over his own government's intelligence agencies. "Can someone get Trump a glass of water, 'cause he thirsty," Meyers joked.
"It's only a matter of weeks before he single-white-female's Putin," he followed with a picture of Trump sporting Putin's haircut.
"Can you imagine what their private meeting was like?" he asked. "I'm worried he let Putin annex one of the 50 states. 'Here's the electoral map. Pick one of the blue ones.'"