Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles President Trump

Stephen Colbert is at a loss for words after Trump's press conference, briefly

President Trump wrapped up his 77-minute freewheeling press conference on Thursday not long before Stephen Colbert taped Thursday's Late Show, and like other late-night hosts, his writers had to scrap everything and start over. Fresh off of ingesting Trump's news conference, Colbert declared it "beefy," in fact, "so beefy you could eat it with a fork, okay? But you're going to want to use a spoon to get every drop of the crazy." Then words failed him.

"It's kind of hard to characterize the press conference — words fail me," he said. So he turned to cable news. "How about CNN?" he asked. Jake Tapper called it "unhinged," which Colbert dismissed as "fake news," but then he played the reaction at Fox News, and it wasn't much more hinged. "With friends like that, who needs Fox & Friends?" he asked. Then Colbert turned to the meat of the news conference, and he let Trump do a lot of the talking.

The president started out blaming everybody but himself for the chaos in his White House, claiming he inherited a mess. "No, you inherited a fortune, we elected a mess," Colbert reminded him, "for the record." He moved on to Trump's assertion that he couldn't be expected to know that his Electoral College win was historically meh, not huge, as he just said, because somebody gave him that information. "How presidential," Colbert said. "It really reminds me of Harry Truman, who so famously said: 'Look, I don't know where it's supposed to stop, I was given that buck.'"

Colbert hit some of the other highlights, ending with Trump's sarcastic response to a question from Major Garrett of CBS News about how he plans to deal with Russia's new aggressions. "That was the president unveiling his two new characters," Colbert said: "Military Guy and Dictator Giving a Press Conference." Watch below. Peter Weber