Seth Meyers was driven to drink on air after hearing comments from former president George W. Bush, who slipped up and described the U.S. invasion of Iraq as “wholly unjustified and brutal” while discussing the war in Ukraine. During Thursday’s episode of Late Night with Seth Meyers, the host played his audience “an extremely and shockingly real clip” of Bush, who “accidentally confessed to being a war criminal.”
The clip, which was pulled from Bush’s speech at the George W. Bush Institute at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, features the former president telling his listeners, “The decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq… I mean of the Ukraine.”
After playing the clip, Meyers said, “You know, when I started this show, I poured exactly one shot of whiskey and left it in the drawer of my desk for an emergency, and throughout the entirety of the Trump presidency I resisted using it. But you know what? Fuck it.”
He then reached down into his desk, grabbed the shot and knocked it back as the studio crowd cheered.
“I really am certain that clip was designed in a lab to melt the brains of anyone who was alive in 2003,” Meyers said of Bush’s comments. “Back then, if you had called the invasion of Iraq ‘brutal’ and ‘unjustified,’ the Bush administration and Fox News would have spent an entire week calling you a traitor, and every time you went to the airport the TSA would’ve given you the full cavity search.”
Looking back at our not-so-distant past, Meyers recalled “a time in our history that was so hysterical and intolerant of dissent that people started calling French fries ‘freedom fries’ because France opposed the war,” which he said was “both petty and pointless, especially because we only did it for french fries.”
The late night host then linked “Bush to the modern GOP,” explaining, “The Trump Republican Party is the natural evolution of the Bush Republican Party, which was lawless and authoritarian and used culture-war hysteria to stir up resentments and scare voters the same way the modern Republican Party does now. They’ve just switched to different topics.”
Late Night with Seth Meyers airs weeknights at 12:35/11:35c on NBC.