Jimmy Kimmel on Trump’s plan to seize voting machines: ‘A Sieg Hail Mary, if you will’

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Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the week with troubling evidence from the Trump White House in the days after the 2020 election. Over the weekend, Politico obtained and published a draft executive order from 16 December 2020 which ordered the defense secretary to seize voting machines in battleground states.

The author of the draft order remains unknown, though “Trump himself has been ruled out because there’s no dipping sauce on any of the pages,” Kimmel quipped.

The militarization of the election “was a last-ditch effort to keep Trump in power”, he noted. “A Sieg Hail Mary, if you will.”

Related: Seth Meyers on failed voting rights bill: ‘Republicans are waging war on democracy’

The draft order was part of a cache of documents given to the House’s committee investigating 6 January, after the supreme court ruled that Trump could not shield himself from oversight on grounds of executive privilege.

In other 6 January fallout news, Trump has expressed fury that the House committee intends to interview his daughter Ivanka.

As he said in a statement: “They’re using these things to try and get people’s minds off how incompetently our country is being run. And they don’t care. They’ll go after children.”

“He knows Ivanka is 40, right?” Kimmel laughed. “I mean, I know he missed a lot of birthdays, but … you can’t call them children and also put them in charge of peace in the Middle East. It’s one or the other.”

Stephen Colbert

On Late Night, Stephen Colbert checked in on Russia’s movement to amass troops on the Ukrainian border, which has prompted Joe Biden to consider deploying thousands of troops to eastern Europe and the Baltics. “That headline reads way too much like a game of Risk,” said Colbert. “Let’s have some headlines that sound like we’re playing a nicer board game, like ‘Hippo hunger remains insatiable’ or ‘New York City’s biggest landlord: this thimble’.”

The US isn’t the only country making moves. Denmark deployed F-16 planes to Lithuania, France has prepared to send troops to Romania, and Spain is sending four fighter jets to Bulgaria.

Why all the posturing? On Saturday, the British government accused Moscow of scheming to install a pro-Russia government in Ukraine. “Oh Ukraine, you don’t want that,” said Colbert. “We just got rid of our pro-Russian leader, and he was a disaster.”

Colbert then touched on the draft executive order, which Trump tried to keep hidden from the public, outlining plans to seize voting machines after the 2020 election. “In the attempt to overturn the election, the former president wanted the military to seize the voting machines!” Colbert exclaimed. “The only thing standing between us and authoritarian takeover would’ve been elderly poll workers.

“Is this getting through to everyone here, that he was going to militarize the election, and seize the votes?” he added. The order would have given the voting machines to the defense department for a 60-day review, keeping Trump in power until at least mid-February 2021. “Man, he will do anything to ruin Black History Month,” Colbert noted.

Seth Meyers

And on Late Night, Seth Meyers decried the draft executive order evincing the Trump administration’s plan to overturn the election. “Sometimes I feel like we’re going to be hearing revelations like this one for the rest of our lives,” Meyers said. “Some day I’ll be sitting in a nursing home, looking out the window at my favorite tree, and a nurse will come in and say ‘did you hear? Trump was training an army of rats to chew the wires out of voting machines.”

The draft order cited two classified documents, suggesting the author had access to information about sensitive government secrets. “Wow, so it could’ve been a high-level government executive, or a general, or literally anyone at Mar-a-Lago,” Meyers said.

“So whoever wrote this executive order was presumably someone who had access to government secrets, which is pretty crazy,” he continued. “This time, we just happened to get lucky, since Trump is too dumb to get his way and a bunch of people stopped him by threatening to quit. But what happens next time when a Republican politician wants to use the military to stay in power?

“I would just like to point out,” he added, “to all the people who thought calling Trump’s plan an ‘attempted coup’ was hysterical, this latest executive order is just more proof that the threat was very real.”

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