Late-night host Stephen Colbert on Monday mocked President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE for his pledge to assist a Chinese telecommunications company, noting that it contradicts much of the president's message during the 2016 campaign.

Colbert referenced tweets Trump sent on Sunday and Monday in which the president said he'd directed the Commerce Department to look into aiding ZTE. The president then defended his decision, saying it's part of broader trade talks with China and his "personal relationship with President Xi.”

"During the campaign Trump wouldn't shut up about how America's jobs were being stolen by China," Colbert said during "The Late Show" on CBS, leading into a series of clips in which Trump as a candidate railed against China.


"This is directly opposed to everything Trump said," Colbert continued. "I can’t wait for his next tweet: 'Have you heard about all the problems in Mexico? We have got to let these good people into our country. Build the ramp!'"

Colbert noted that the Commerce Department banned American companies from selling components to ZTE because the Chinese firm violated U.S. sanctions by selling equipment to Iran.

In addition, national security experts have warned that the Chinese government could use ZTE technology to spy on Americans.

"As an American, I do not want some Chinese company spying on me," Colbert said. "I want Facebook to do it. Thank you for your service, Facebook."

Some lawmakers have criticized Trump's willingness to assist ZTE, arguing he is prioritizing Chinese jobs over American workers and that ZTE represents a national security threat.

Deputy White House press secretary Raj Shah told reporters on Monday that Trump has directed the Commerce Department to look into the matter, which is part of a "complex relationship" between China and the U.S.

"It's an issue of high concern for China that's been raised with the U.S. government and with our administration at various levels," he said.

Shah disputed suggestions that Trump's willingness to help ZTE conflicts with his comments during the 2016 campaign, when he frequently criticized China for taking American jobs.