"This was probably the strangest Mother's Day ever, especially for me," the host said in his Jimmy Kimmel Live! monologue, shot remotely from his home, on Monday. "I spent some of my Mother's Day in a Twitter feud with, well, you know that weird baby that lives in the White House? The one with the orange face? Well, he is in a mood! And apparently part of the reason for that mood is something I did."
According to Kimmel, the tension began last Thursday when Kimmel showed a video on air that appeared to show Vice President Mike Pence asking to carry empty boxes of PPE "just for the camera" at a photo op at a Virginia health care center last week.
After it turned out that the video Kimmel played had been edited, and a longer version seemed to indicate that Pence was joking when he made the remarks, Kimmel removed the video of his segment and took to Twitter to issue an apology.
"It would appear that @vp was joking about carrying empty boxes for a staged publicity stunt. The full video reveals that he was carrying full boxes for a staged publicity stunt," Kimmel tweeted. "My apologies. I know how dearly this administration values truth."
it would appear that @vp was joking about carrying empty boxes for a staged publicity stunt. The full video reveals that he was carrying full boxes for a staged publicity stunt. My apologies. I know how dearly this administration values truth. https://t.co/hI9cO4lxcX
"Apologizing to the Trump administration for spreading untruth is like apologizing to Barry Bonds for using steroids -- It's hard," Kimmel said in Monday's monologue. "But the outrage from the MAGA hats, the outpouring of venom was disgusting. Stupid too, but mostly disgusting."
According to Kimmel, some particularly hateful Twitter users sent him messages "wishing death on me, on my family, on my son. Some of them said they hope my son dies, they threatened my wife. There were hundreds of horrible, hateful, sometimes violent Twitter and Facebook posts."
Throughout Friday, Pence's communication director spent the day denying the video on Twitter, and Kimmel said that Pence's people reached out to demand a mea culpa.
"I got an email from the vice president's office requesting that I apologize on air. On Twitter wasn't enough I guess. They wanted it on air," Kimmel said. "Because this is what they're thinking about while thousands of Americans are dying every day. Jokes from late-night talk show hosts."
However, things escalated on Sunday when Trump decided to take another swipe at Kimmel on Twitter.
"So yesterday, it's mother's day, and we're having a nice morning with the family and I get a text that says, 'the president is tweeting about you," Kimmel recalled. "It took me a while to find it because, he tweeted 125 times yesterday."
In the tweet in question, Trump wrote, "More Fake News, this time from Jimmy Kmmel's last place show!"
"He tweeted once every seven and a half minutes yesterday. That's impressive. He ignored a pandemic and his wife on Mother's Day. He really can do it all," Kimmel joked adding that he simply replied to Trump, "Go make Melania brunch."
"This really is the dumbest time to be alive," Kimmel said. "I always assumed that if I got involved in some kind of a Twitter feud with the president it would be with President Kanye in 2028. But no, it came early."
These latest exchanges come nearly a week after Trump slammed Kimmel, and his fellow late night talk show hosts, in a message comparing their ratings to the ratings of a Fox News host.
"Wow! Congratulations to Greg Gutfeld, a one time Trump Hater who has come all the way home," Trump tweeted on May 5. "His Ratings easily beat no talent Stephen Colbert, nice guy Jimmy Fallon, and wacko “last placer” Jimmy Kimmel."