Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Trump and Russia

Stephen Colbert cracks puns about the Trump Russia dossier for 2 straight minutes

Stephen Colbert kicked off Wednesday's Late Show monologue by talking about President Obama's farewell address on Tuesday night. "It was truly a moving experience, and I just have to say... let's talk about Donald Trump for a second," Colbert said. "Because there's a story that that came out in the last 24 hours, and — pardon the expression — it is, um, juicy." He started with CNN's report that Trump was briefed by the top U.S. intelligence officials last Friday on unsubstantiated claims that Russia has compromising information on him, then moved on to the leaked, unverified dossier.

"Everyone admits this report is unverified, and the man is about to be president of the United States, so I'm not going to validate that report by sharing the most salacious details from it," Colbert said. "Even the detail everybody's talking about, okay? You might call it the, um, No. 1 detail. I think this is just an unfortunate leak... that's making a huge mess, and I know I'm being a wet blanket, but reporting on this is the worst kind of yellow journalism. And even though jokes about this story are a golden opportunity, I just won't do it. Not to say the story didn't make a huge splash — it did. It flooded Twitter, I mean. We'll keep you up to date as facts trickle in. And we have our best researcher working on it — she's a real whiz. And one thing is for sure: The president-elect is a Goldwater Republican who truly believes in trickle-down." He cracked puns for a full two and a half minutes.

"I only feel for Donald Trump a little bit here, because he brought this on himself," Colbert said. "And I have a suggestion, Mr. Trump, of how to get rid of it: Just do the thing you have never done, which is say anything Putin wouldn't like. Alright? That would prove they're not running you." Trump could also release his tax returns — which Trump said again on Wednesday he won't do, because they're under audit, prompting Colbert to imagine the IRS agent with big enough nerve to audit the president. He ended where he began — talking about Obama's farewell speech — and with one last Russia dossier joke, and the band played him out with The Beatles' "Golden Slumbers." Watch below. Peter Weber