Stephen Colbert called out President Donald Trump on his tariff threats to start the week on The Late Show.
Colbert dissected all of the presidents actions and statements in his monologue on Monday night, including his latest use of tariffs. He briefly explained the latest story, in which the Mexican government agreed to increase border security to keep migrants from reaching the U.S. In exchange, the president agreed not to enact the new tariffs he had planned to levy against Mexico.
“I am pleased to inform you that The United States of America has reached a signed agreement with Mexico. The tariffs scheduled to be implemented by the U.S. on Monday, against Mexico, are hereby indefinitely suspended,” Trump tweeted. “Mexico, in turn, has agreed to take strong measures to stem the tide of migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border. ”
"So, according to Donald Trump, Donald Trump was the hero," Colbert joked. "Saving the world's economy from the clutches of that maniac, Donald Trump."
As it turns out, The New York Times reported that Mexico had actually agreed to step up border security long before the latest negotiation over tariffs. Colbert referred to the whole story as "some sort of theater," adding that the president was "taking credit for deals that were already in place."
Moreover, Colbert joined the chorus of critics condemning President Trump's tariffs. The president has been imposing or threatening to impose tariffs on various countries and business sectors to control the economy, and many see the strategy as a mistake.
In another segment on Monday, Colbert played a clip from a CNBC segment on tariffs' effect on the economy, where the president called in personally to comment.
The segment featured the executive vice president of the chamber of commerce, Myron Brilliant, condemning the president's "weaponization" of tariffs, saying: "it's gonna hurt our country! Tariffs are not the way we want to go."
Upon hearing that, the president called in to offer his own perspective on tariffs. He claimed that "without tariffs we would be held captive by other countries, and we have been for many years." For Colbert, it did not matter who was right in this scenario so much as the fact that the president called in to a cable show he was presumably watching.
"Once President 14th Caller was on the line, he was in no hurry to get back to work," Colbert quipped.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert airs on week nights at 11:35 p.m. ET on CBS.