President Donald Trump had a very busy Thursday, May 11th. First, he claimed he had invented the term "prime the pump." This claim was quickly shot down by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, who tweeted out some quick info:
Then, directly contradicting reports from his own White House staff, Trump insisted to NBC Nightly News Anchor Lestor Holt that he was planning on firing Comey "regardless of recommendation:"
What I did is, I was going to fire Comey. My decision… I was going to fire Comey. There’s no good time to do it, by the way… I was going to fire regardless of recommendation. He made a recommendation. He’s highly respected. Very good guy. Very smart guy. The Democrats like him. The Republicans like him. He made a recommendation, but regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey.
And then, in what may be his most insane move yet, President Trump claimed American sweetheart Steven Colbert had "no talent."
You see a no-talent guy like Colbert. There’s nothing funny about what he says. And what he says is filthy. And you have kids watching. And it only builds up my base. It only helps me, people like him. The guy was dying. By the way they were going to take him off television, then he started attacking me and he started doing better. But his show was dying. I’ve done his show… But when I did his show, which by the way was very highly rated. It was high — highest rating. The highest rating he’s ever had.
Wow. There's a lot to unpack in President Trump's statement. First, the "filth" Trump mentioned is most likely referencing a recent controversial monologue in which Colbert said the only thing the president’s mouth is good for is “being Vladimir Putin’s c*** holster.” The joke jump-started the #FireColbert movement, and drew considerable ire from both conservatives and LGBTQ activists.
Trump also claimed his episode of The Late Show received the "highest ratings they've ever had." This is not true. The Late Show‘s series premiere had a better rating than Trump’s episode, which aired in September 2015. Also, according to the Hollywood Reporter, “Colbert’s Daily Show reunion episode on Tuesday is pacing to be The Late Show‘s highest rated episode in 19 months.”
Trump also asserted that Colbert's show "was dying" before the host began attacking Trump. While this is also untrue (The Late Show was the third-most-popular late night program even at its lowest point), there has definitely been an upswing in ratings since Colbert began focusing more on politics. The Late Show has been the highest rated late night program (beating out its closest rival, Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show) for 14 consecutive weeks.