Late Show's Stephen Colbert grills Jacinda Ardern about whether she laughed at Trump

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has sat down with comedian Stephen Colbert in New York for an interview that will be broadcast to millions. 

On the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Ms Ardern was asked whether United Nations diplomats were laughing at or with President Donald Trump.

"Are you trying to create a diplomatic incident?" she asked Colbert, calling the muffled laughter at the UN in response to Mr Trump's bragging a "spontaneous murmur".

"There was a little a laugh and he said 'I didn't expect that response' and then there was a bigger laugh, then people were laughing with him."

When pressed as to whether she joined in the laughing, she tactfully said: "I observed".

Colbert asked her if New Zealand got an exemption from Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs, pointing out that Australia did.

"We're still working on it," Ms Ardern said. "I did raise it with him."

Jacinda Ardern on The Late Show
Photo credit: The Late Show

She then joked about her partner Clarke Gayford causing a "slight distraction" when he knocked over a flagpole while Ms Ardern was speaking to Mr Trump at his leaders' reception. 

"I didn't catch which flag it was, Clarke was scrambling to fix the situation."

She described Mr Gayford holding the "long metal prong" from the flagpole after the incident.

"I'm surprised no one leapt on him at that point, because it looked like a weapon," she laughed.

Colbert opened his show with a 20 minute monologue ridiculing Mr Trump.

The show was running late because Mr Trump was simultaneously holding a rare press conference with the White House Press, forcing the show's writers to throw out the original monologue and rewrite the beginning of the show.