Jimmy Kimmel on Trump: ‘In a nutshell, the president is mad at an app on his phone, and is using the power of his office to retaliate.’ Photograph: YouTube
Late-night TV roundup

Jimmy Kimmel: 'If Trump is so mad at Twitter, why doesn’t he stop using it?'

With most late-night hosts still on vacation, Jimmy Kimmel recaps Trump’s fight with the platform he can’t quit


Jimmy Kimmel

It’s been an altogether brutal week of news, but “while racial injustice is tearing this country apart”, said Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday night, in reference to protests over the killing of George Floyd, a black man, by Minneapolis police, Donald Trump “is going to war with Twitter”.

Trump has been apoplectic about the tech company since earlier this week, when it factchecked his misleading tweets on mail-in voting as a widespread cause of voter fraud (there is no evidence to support this, and many states with Republican governors have used mail-in voting for years).

Twitter tagged his tweets as “potentially misleading” with a “get the facts about mail-in ballots” link to articles disproving Trump’s claim.

Trump’s attempt to discredit mail-in voting is “part of his multi-pronged ‘looks like I’m gonna lose so I’ll make every case I can to say I was cheated’ campaign”, said Kimmel.

So on Thursday, in retaliation to Twitter’s factchecking, he “picked up his executive Sharpie” and signed an executive order that would limit legal protections for social media companies. The order was intended, he argued, to make it so “social media companies that engage in censoring or any political conduct will not be able to keep their liability shield”.

Naturally, he also raged about Twitter on Twitter, tweeting: “Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election. They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post … Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!”

“This is crazy,” said Kimmel of the president’s response. “This would be like if he declared war on Arby’s because they said there are 550 calories in his curly fries.”

He continued: “In a nutshell, the president is mad at an app on his phone, and is using the power of his office to retaliate. This is what is on his mind as the death toll from coronavirus is over 100,000 now.”

Trump continued to escalate his Twitter attacks on Thursday, telling reporters he would “shut down” the platform if his attorneys could find a way because it’s “limiting his freedom of speech”. The argument is “obviously insane”, said Kimmel.

“He is Mr Twitter. And by the way, if he’s so mad at Twitter, why doesn’t he stop using it? He can’t, because he loves it. He loves mashing those angry little thumbs.”