Brow Beat

Trump Says He Would Have “Run in” During the Parkland Shooting. But Is Trump Capable of Running?

When it comes to Donald Trump, Stephen Colbert is starting to think he’s seen it all. But—somehow—he hasn’t. None of us have.

“At this point I go to bed every night believing there’s nothing he could say or do that could possibly surprise me,” he said during Monday’s Late Show. “Then the sun comes up. And it happened again today.”

In this case, it was Trump’s claim during a meeting with governors that he himself would have “run in there” during the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, with or without a weapon. It’s impossible to know for certain, of course, but he’s pretty sure he would have.

“There’s a lot in there that I doubt,” said Colbert. “But the part I really don’t believe is that he can run.”

The president is not exactly known for his bravery in combat situations, as Colbert pointed out. The man got five deferments to avoid fighting in the Vietnam War. Colbert’s parody of Trump on Vietnam sounds remarkably realistic after listening to him claim he would have confronted Nikolas Cruz at Stoneman Douglas. “You know, I could have won Vietnam, I absolutely could have won Vietnam, no weapon, just run right up to Ho Chi Minh and karate chop him in the clavicle.”

It’s all part of Trump’s argument that to prevent school shootings, schools need more tough guys (like him), not fewer guns. Of course, there was an armed and trained sheriff’s deputy on hand at the school who didn’t run into the building during the shooting—nor did multiple other armed deputies who arrived on the scene. These trained professionals didn’t see fit to run in, either out of fear or caution. Colbert didn’t pass judgement on these men, because it’s an impossible situation to comprehend.

“Who among us, really, could honestly say what they think they would do in that same situation?” he asked.

Donald Trump believes himself, as ever, to be the exception to the rule.

Rachel Withers is a Slate Brow Beat assistant.