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‘Day 20 of squattergate.’ Kimmel, other late night hosts weigh in on continuing election saga

Jimmy Kimmel hosting his show on Monday night.
Jimmy Kimmel hosting his show on Monday night.Jimmy Kimmel Live!

After weeks of delay, the General Services Administration ascertained Monday that President-elect Joe Biden is the “apparent winner” of the 2020 presidential election — at last enabling the transition of President Trump’s administration to formally begin and allowing Biden to access resources he had previously been unable to.

But Trump, despite saying in a tweet that he is directing his team to coordinate on the transition, is still refusing to concede and vowed to continue a legal fight that has virtually no chance of succeeding.

The recent development, along with a number of other newsworthy events revolving around the Trump administration of late, served as fodder for television hosts, with Jimmy Kimmel opening his own show by saying, “Thank you for joining us on, what is this, week three of our Election Night coverage?”

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Jimmy Kimmel Live!

“It is now day 20 of squattergate,” Kimmel said. “And we still haven’t seen the president concede. We’ve barely even seen the president.”

Kimmel pointed out that Trump has made a rare few public appearances since Nov. 3 — other than to golf.

“He golfed on Saturday and Sunday,” Kimmel said. “I have never seen a guy try so hard to keep a job he doesn’t even do.”

Kimmel also touched on how Trump summoned Michigan lawmakers to the White House, reportedly as part of his bid to overturn the election results in the state. But that attempt also failed, with the state’s election board certifying the results in Biden’s favor Monday.

Like other late-night hosts, Kimmel brought up the distancing of Trump’s legal team from Sidney Powell, a firebrand conservative attorney who had been pushing conspiracy theories and baseless claims of election fraud.

“It’s a real crackerjack team of attorneys [Trump] put together here, in that he appears to actually have found them in boxes of Cracker Jacks,” Kimmel said.

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The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

When Stephen Colbert began his monologue Monday, like Kimmel, he played up the seemingly endless election-related news cycle.

“We have a current president that doesn’t want to be a former president, and I’ll tell you all about it in another edition of our never-ending segment,” Colbert said.

“The president’s slow-moving coup is not going that well,” Colbert continued, explaining the certification of votes in Michigan and the ascertainment of President-elect Joe Biden as the “apparent winner” of the election by Emily Murphy, administrator of the GSA.

“Our next commander in chief will be President Biden, which means somewhere right now Rudy Giuliani is filing a last-ditch legal claim that our current president’s name has always been Joe Biden,” Colbert said.

But despite Trump’s legal challenges and recounts continuing not to go in his favor — including the hand recount in Georgia that again certified Biden as the winner (Trump is requesting yet another recount), as well as the blistering dismissal of his campaign’s lawsuit in Pennsylvania by a federal judge — the president is not giving up his efforts to overturn the election, Colbert said.

“Mr. President, things don’t necessarily get better when you ask for a do-over,” Colbert said. “I can’t remember a bigger sore loser than this.”

When the ruling was issued, several Republicans — among them Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey — said it was time for the president to concede, Colbert said, and then he read part of the statement Toomey put out, in which the politician laid out that it was clear Biden had won.

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“Did you hear that Republicans? He said it. And he didn’t immediately burst into flames,” Colbert said. “You can summon that courage, too. Just resist the peer pressure and tell the world once and for all: ‘I’m in a democracy and I don’t care who knows it!’”

In contrast to a number of Trump’s administrative picks — who have often made waves for their background or notoriety — Colbert also joked about Biden’s nomination of Antony Blinken as secretary of state.

“Another Biden pick who we all know from never having heard of him,” Colbert said. “Not the CEO of an oil company, not a former Fox News host, not even a guy who Kid Rock recommended from Guitar Center.”

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon jumped right into the latest Trump news when his show began Monday, saying, “Well, guys, the Trump campaign’s efforts to flip the election are not going well.”

He added: “Out of more than 30 lawsuits, at least 24 have already been dismissed. And this weekend, even Chris Christie jumped ship.”

Fallon played a clip of the former New Jersey governor and longtime Trump ally appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” during which he said, “Quite frankly, the conduct of the president’s legal team has been a national embarrassment.”

“Meanwhile, people in foreign countries were like, ‘Actually, it’s embarrassing here, too’,” Fallon said. “When Trump heard what Christie said, he was like, ‘You know what? Ever since I gave you COVID, you’ve been a real pain in the butt.’”

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Fallon also quipped about the controversial attorney Sidney Powell.

“She got kicked off Trump’s legal team for being too crazy,” Fallon said. “That’s like getting kicked off of Real Housewives for being too crazy. Seriously, you know how nuts you have to be when Rudy Giuliani’s head starts leaking and you’re the one who gets fired?”

Late Night with Seth Meyers

Seth Meyers started off his show in a straightforward fashion, noting how President-elect Joe Biden is continuing with the transition and announcing Cabinet selections.

“Meanwhile, outgoing “President Squatters’ Rights” fired one of his lawyers [Sidney Powell] after she claimed the election was rigged as part of a vast conspiracy,” Meyers said. “You know, I hate to jump the gun here and prematurely call the election, but it’s starting to look like Donald Trump lost by a lot.”

According to the Associated Press, Biden is ahead in the popular vote by about 6 million votes.

“And in total, he has more votes than any president-elect in history,” Meyers said. “Or to put it another — I don’t know more fun way — more people came out to vote against Donald Trump than have ever come out to vote against any presidential candidate in the history of the United States.”

Meyers also noted how United States District Court Judge Matthew Brann dismissed the Trump campaign’s futile effort to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania, and the scathing, 37-page order he issued.

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“I also like the part where the judge says you’d expect the Trump legal team to come armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof,” Meyers said. “Why would you expect this crew to roll in with proof? It’s like expecting my burnout cousin to come to Thanksgiving on time with sweet potatoes.”

Trump’s legal team — Rudy Giuliani, in particular — do not actually have any evidence of voter fraud, Meyers said, “which is why lawyers keep quitting or getting fired or laughed out of court, because this whole thing isn’t actually about evidence.”

“It’s just about manufacturing a conspiracy theory that will animate Trump’s base for years to come,” Meyers said. “It’s just another scam like Trump’s many previous scams.”



Shannon Larson can be reached at shannon.larson@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shannonlarson98.