Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles President Trump

Stephen Colbert thanks Oprah for sinking Trump's first Cabinet nominee

Stephen Colbert said he had not planned on talking about Andrew Puzder on Wednesday's Late Show, but then President Trump's labor secretary nominee abruptly pulled his name from consideration. "Just to be clear, this is not a scandal — he says he just wants to spend more time with Michael Flynn," Colbert said, before getting to the real story.

"The CEO of Hardee's and Carl's Jr. was controversial for many reasons: He had an undocumented housekeeper, made ads that famously objectified women, and called his own fast-food employees 'the worst of the worst,'" Colbert said. "But even with all that, Republicans were still on board with Puzder — until a tape surfaced of Puzder's wife in 1990 appearing on a talk show describing domestic abuse. That took him down. So who brought that tape to light? I mean, who is powerful enough to topple a Cabinet secretary? You guessed it: Oprah! Thank you, Oprah." (Actually, "Oprah Winfrey fought efforts to obtain" the tape, Politico reported late Wednesday.)

"Hey, quick follow-up question — no particular reason, Oprah: Did you ever do any shows in Russia?" Colbert asked, switching to reports from Tuesday night alleging that Trump campaign officials were in constant contact with Russian intelligence during the election. "Now, this Russian revelation obviously raises questions, like 'Are you f—ing kidding me?' and 'What?'" Colbert said. "Because this is Russia, America's greatest foe since World War II — I mean, worse than gluten."

The White House vehemently denied the charges, and then Trump got on Twitter, blaming the Flynn scandal and Russia allegations on the "fake news media" peddling "conspiracy theories" to distract from Hillary Clinton's loss. "Buddy, you're the only one talking about Hillary Clinton," Colbert noted. "You're like that guy who's still talking about the big touchdown he made 20 years ago — by the way, Hillary won the popular touchdowns." Also, "here's the thing: It can't be both 'fake news' and an 'illegal leak' of classified information," Colbert pointed out. "'Your honor, I did not kill that man — the real criminal is whoever filmed me strangling him.'" Watch below. Peter Weber