Late Night Tackles Trump Firing James Comey
Thursday's Late Show kicked off with a short spoof of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's travails in the wake of President Trump firing James Comey, laid out in a Ken Burns-style dramatic reading of Spicer's letters to Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
In his monologue, Stephen Colbert took a look at the shifting narrative from the White House on why, exactly, Trump fired the FBI director. "Donald Trump doesn't seem to know why," he said. Few people believed Trump's original explanation — that it was due to the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — and that group includes Rosenstein. "At one point, Rosenstein actually threatened to quit," Colbert said. "It will all be detailed in his tell-all book, Threatening Courage."
"Still, the White House staff kept repeating that the decision came after the recommendation from Rosenstein, and today, Donald Trump backed those staffers up — then ran over them repeatedly, by changing his story." He played some clips of Trump telling NBC's Lester Holt why he decided to fire Comey. Yes, "he was going to do it regardless — totally believable," Colbert said. "Trump does have a long history of doing whatever he wants, regardless. But hey, when you're a star, they let you do it. Comey should have known he was in trouble when Trump pulled out the Tic-Tacs." Trump also said Comey was a "showboat" and a "grandstander." Colbert paused. "That is really the squash calling the pumpkin orange."
Trump gave other post-Comey interviews as well, and Colbert read some excerpts from his sit-downs with The Economist and TIME magazine, in his Trump voice, making jokes.
"The president also spoke to TIME magazine about the most important thing to him: this show," Colbert said. "The president of the United States has personally come after me and my show, and there's only one thing to say." He started laughing and cheering. Colbert thanked the president, explained that Jeb Bush got higher ratings on The Late Show than Trump, and ended with a suggestion: "Since all of my success is clearly based on talking about you, if you really want to take me down, there's an obvious way: resign." Watch below. Peter Weber