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On Monday morning, Donald Trump kicked off the week in style—with an apparent threat to American democracy as we know it. In a tweet, the president wrote, in part, “As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong?” Some found themselves asking why a sitting president would bring that fact up if he were not in fact guilty of anything—a question Stephen Colbert also posed during Mondays Late Show: “Its like a surgeon saying, Its just a routine appendectomy—but I could kill you at any time. But why would I do that? O.K., now count backwards from 10.”

In a recent conversation with HuffPost, former New York mayor__Rudy Giuliani,__ now one of Trumps attorneys, took things a step further, saying the president couldnt be indicted for murder while he is president. This, too, proved fertile fodder for the bemused Late Show host: “There it is,” Colbert said. “The president can commit any crime he wants. Hes a one-man Purge. Which will make a great new campaign slogan—Trump 2020: I Could Kill You in Your Sleep.”

Meanwhile, on Comedy Central, Jordan Kleppers doofy, arch-conservative character was thrilled with both the president and Giuliani for beating their chests and exerting their power. “Not only can Trump not obstruct justice,” Klepper said excitedly, “[but] even if he did, the president cant be indicted! As Rudy told the Huffington Post . . . Trump couldnt even be indicted for murder. Which is an incredibly normal thing to say if youre the lawyer of a man whose wife hasnt been seen in 24 days.”

And for all those liberals out there who worry Trump has been demeaning the office of the president, Klepper has news: “Trump has elevated the office of the presidency so high that its currently located above the law.”

To finish up, Klepper offered a helpful summary of where were at right now as a country: “Donald Trump is innocent; #NoCollusion #NoObstruction. Donald Trump didnt do anything. But! If he did do something, it is so not a crime. But . . . if it is a crime, he cannot be indicted. And if he were indicted, he can pardon himself.”

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“A guy from my high school claimed he could pardon himself,” Klepper added, “but everyone said he would have to have a rib removed so he could do it.”

And then there was Trevor Noah, who has noted on multiple occasions that the presidents habits often recall measures and positions taken by various African dictators. On Monday nights Daily Show, however, Noah took a different angle. After reviewing the presidents tweet, the comedian joked, “We all remember when the founders were like, You know what America needs? A king! That is what they said, right? I couldnt concentrate because of all their rapping; it threw me off.”

During his campaign, Noah noted, one of Trumps chief arguments against Hillary Clinton was that unlike her, he would make sure that nobody—rich or poor—was above the law. Now, Noah said, that supposed commitment appears to have evaporated. “Something tells me that Trump wants the same rules for everyone except himself,” Noah said. “Which, even if hes right, doesnt sound like a democracy to me. I mean, a president shouldnt be able to pardon himself; its like sneezing and then saying bless you to yourself. You can do it, but its not right.”

Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Laura BradleyLaura Bradley is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.

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