'Schoolhouse Rock' takes on double negatives

"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" uses "Schoolhouse Rock" to explain double negatives after President Trump said he misspoke when he said "would" instead of "wouldn't" during his press conference with Vladimir Putin.

Posted: Jul 20, 2018 5:00 AM
Updated: Jul 20, 2018 5:23 AM

In a week chock full of fallout from the President's disgraceful performance in Helsinki, it's nice to see that at least some folks are having fun with it.

If you can put aside the more troubling aspects of Trump's buffoonish praise of Putin -- smearing his own intelligence community, letting Russia off the hook for election interference, throwing our NATO allies under the bus -- I guess the whole thing is fairly farcical.

The cartoonish nature of Trump's European journey, including the Helsinki summit, as well as the White House's spectacularly laughable attempts at damage control in the days following, has led to some grade-A trolling from unexpected corners. Among the best:

Queen Elizabeth

Royal watchers were giggling over the Queen of England's brooch selection during Trump's visit to the UK -- because in Britain trolling is nothing if not subtle and polite. One brooch was a gift from the Obamas, another from the people of Canada, and a third was worn at her father's funeral.

The Trump Baby

Less polite were the Trump baby balloons that greeted him in London -- activists in New Jersey liked them so much they're bringing them home, where they plan to fly them over the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where the President spends many summer weekends.

The Finns

The Finns got in on the action, in advance of Trump and Putin's visit. The Helsingin Sanomat newspaper financed 300 billboards on the routes from the airport to the summit that scorched the leaders' aversion to negative press: "Mr. President, Welcome to the Land of Free Press."

Dictionaries

Though Trump's word choice at the summit press conference was universally condemned, the actual dictionary seemed to take particular offense. Dictionary.com tossed some words at the President on Twitter:

"Patriot: A person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion. Traitor: A person who commits treason by betraying his or her country."

Not to be outdone, Merriam-Webster also weighed in, tweeting out its definitions of "yes" and "no" after Trump initially told the press "no" after being questioned about whether he believes Russia is still seeking to interfere in American elections. (Sarah Sanders tried later to say, "he does believe they would.")

Michael Cohen

Trump's one-time body man Michael Cohen, who is now at the center of multiple investigations, trolled his former boss on Twitter as well, stating, for the record -- as if anyone cared -- "I respect our nation's intelligence agencies who determined that Russia, had in fact, interfered or meddled in our democratic process."

But ultimately, it was Richard Marx for the win.

Yes, that Richard Marx. The "Endless Summer Nights" crooner has some fun with the President's absurd would-wouldn't explanation back at home, tweeting:

"I misspoke. I meant to say I 'wouldn't' be right here waiting for you."

High-level trolling this week to be sure — but, refusing to be outdone, no one got the better of Trump like Trump himself, who only managed to make his Helsinki presser worse when he got home. From the infamous double negative to the "No" he didn't mean, to picking fights with poor little Montenegro, this week proved Trump is his own worst troll.

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