Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles President Trump

Stephen Colbert isn't sure Trump should treat Mar-a-Lago's crowded terrace like the Situation Room

President Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his Mar-a-Lago club over the weekend, and paying club members frequently swarmed his table for a little face time with the president of the United States. "Now, I know that sounds like corruption...." Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show, leaving it at that. But the big story about Mar-a-Lago was Trump's curious handling of his first national security emergency, an unexpected missile launch by North Korea.

"This is a provocation by a rogue nuclear state, so President Trump immediately retreated to a secure location where he could be briefed on the details," Colbert said, adding, "I'm just kidding." Instead, he and Abe huddled at a dinner table on the Mar-a-Lago terrace, surrounded by aides, private servers, and fellow club members. "Other diners even posted Facebook photos of Trump and Abe looking at what one imagines are classified documents by the light of someone's cellphone flashlight," Colbert said. "But I'm sure those documents are secure — unless that cellphone flashlight also somehow has a camera attached to it — can't happen. Another guy posted Facebook photos of himself with a guy who carries around the nuclear launch codes, identifying the staffer by name."

Colbert dedicated the last part of his monologue to needling White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, who made his forceful debut on the national stage on the Sunday talk shows. Colbert raised his eyebrow's over Miller's claim that the president's national security powers "will not be questioned" — "Will not be questioned?" he asked. "Let me test that theory: What the [censored] are you talking about?" — and laughed at Miller's assertion that Trump's $22 billion Mexico border wall will pay for itself.

But he drew a line at Miller's bold defense of Trump's widely dismissed claim that thousands of Massachusetts voters traveled to New Hampshire to cost Trump victory in the state. Miller said he wouldn't provide proof on the Sunday shows, but he would defend the claim on any show, at any time. "Any show, anytime, anywhere?" Colbert asked. "Perfect. How about The Late Show, tomorrow, at the Ed Sullivan Theater?" Since Miller has already pre-committed, "if you don't show up, I'm going to call you a liar," Colbert warned, sweetening the pot — kind of. "And if you do show up, I'm going to call you a liar to your face." Watch below. Peter Weber