Despite having been retired from late night television for over a year, former Late Show host David Letterman re-entered the limelight on Thursday when Dateline NBC previewed Tom Brokaw’s interview with him. That first clip concerned Stephen Colbert’s tenure as the new face of The Late Show, and Letterman’s concerns about why CBS didn’t involve him in the process and why a woman didn’t get the gig. Even out of context, Letterman and Brokaw’s conversation sounds fascinating — especially now that a second clip reveals the retiree’s thoughts on the 2016 presidential election. And yes, he talks about Donald Trump, but not everything he has to say about the presumptive Republican nominee is insulting or comedic.
“I understand that he’s repugnant to people,” said Letterman, adding that the New York real estate mogul is a “despicable” person. However, the 69-year-old comedian then turned the comment on its head by defending Trump’s right to run for president. And no, that’s no an exaggeration:
“The men putting together the Constitution, witnessing this election, wouldn’t they have just said, ‘That’s part of the way we set it up. Good luck'”?
When Brokaw admitted his interviewee was “absolutely right” since Trump “didn’t cheat by getting the nomination,” that spurred Letterman even further:
“In everybody’s school, you hear, ‘The great thing about America is anybody can grow up to be President.’ Oh, jeez. I guess that might be true.”
So yeah, that just happened. David Letterman, the man who called Trump a racist in 2011 and issued a pseudo apology shortly thereafter, offered a defense of the leading Republican presidential candidate’s run for the White House. A lazy defense, to be sure, but one that the Trump campaign will probably waste no time in re-framing as an endorsement.
Brokaw’s interview with Letterman airs Sunday, June 12 at 7 p.m. ET on NBC.
(Via Entertainment Weekly)