We weren’t supposed to know about John Kelly’s departure as President Trump’s chief of staff until Monday. As The New York Times reported over the weekend, Trump agreed to let Kelly made the announcement on his own terms. But then before he could do it, the president blurted out the decision to reporters on Saturday.
Imitating Trump, Stephen Colbert said in his Late Show monologue Monday night, “I would like to humbly announce that it was me who dumped him. No matter what he tells you, that’s what happened. I’m the one who said we should see other presidents, OK? I just wasn’t that into him.”
Of course, Trump thought he had a successor for Kelly lined up in the vice president’s chief of staff, or as Colbert referred to him, “bro who’s not going to let those nerds hold a luau on campus while he’s president of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Nick Ayers.”
“It was such a done deal, they had so decided that it was going to be Ayers,” Colbert said, that Trump had already prepared a press release to make the announcement. But Ayers decided to turn the president down, a turn of events one former senior administration official described to The New York Times as a “humiliation for Mr. Trump and his adult children, an emotion that the president tries to avoid at all costs.”
“And that’s not easy,” Colbert added. “Have you seen his adult children?”
The host went on to explain that “nobody seems to want this job,” likening Trump to The Bachelor “trying to give his rose away” and getting rejected over and over again.
“So the president is in desperate need of a chief of staff and he’s got no viable candidates,” Colbert said, “which is why I’d like to take this opportunity to officially throw my hat in the ring.”
“Will I be able to control the president? No” he said. “Will we fight? Yeah. But will I bring a steady hand to a tumultuous West Wing? Also no. But no one could!”
“And no, I don’t agree with the president’s policies, and no, this won’t help the country, but I believe in my heart of hearts that this could be fun for me,” the host continued. “I mean, who would pass up the chance to spend 10 minutes on the deck of the Titanic while it’s sinking?”