Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles President Trump

Stephen Colbert has some choice words for FBI Director James Comey

Stephen Colbert began Wednesday night's Late Show monologue addressing a controversial joke from Monday's show, expressing lighthearted relief that he was still the show's host but not apologizing for his dig at President Trump. "He, I believe, can take care of himself," Colbert said. "I have jokes, he has the launch codes. So, it's a fair fight." He didn't linger.

"For once, the big story today is not Donald Trump — it's why we have Donald Trump, James Comey," he said, playing clips of the FBI director's Senate testimony and offering his critiques. Comey, for example, said he had two bad options when the FBI learned new information about Hillary Clinton's emails right before the election. "So he had to choose between 'really bad' and 'catastrophic' — the same things the voters had to choose between," Colbert said, unimpressed. And Comey's feelings about having potentially tipped the election to Trump? "Mildly nauseous?" Colbert asked. "Maybe it's morning sickness — after all, you did screw the whole country."

He turned to Sean Spicer's disappearing act, then dug into the House GOP's big push to pass their health-care bill, at Trump's insistence. So far, Trump "doesn't have the votes, but then again, that's how he got elected," Colbert said. "We still don't know what's going to happen, but Republican leadership in the House is trying to rally the troops," not always inspirationally. "Yes, act now and ask questions later, like: What did we just do, and why the hell did we do that?" Colbert paraphrased.

The hangup is moderate Republicans worried about people with pre-existing conditions, but one Republican, Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), suggested people could just move to another state if their own state got a waiver. Colbert imagined how that might work: "Hey, kids! Dad's got pancreatitis — road trip!" But "this is going to be a real boon for state tourism," he said, looking at the light side. "Look forward to signs like 'Virginia is for Livers,' 'I Heart-Transplant New York,' and 'Come Get an Alabamputation!'" There's one for Florida, too. Watch below. Peter Weber