Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Trump and Russia

Stephen Colbert explains Trump's Russia intel scandal, begs Trump not to fire Sean Spicer

Monday's bad news is that, according to The Washington Post and other newspapers, President Trump shared highly classified information with top Russian diplomats last week, Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. "The good news? Trump found the leaker." The intelligence was reportedly so sensitive it was classified as "code word" information, which Colbert explained like this: "Code-word means the vital aspects of the story have to be replaced with other words. You have to say things like, 'The package has been delivered,' 'The squirrel is in the basket,' 'The idiot is in the Oval.'"

Colbert then turned back to Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, running through the purported "loyalty oath" Trump tried to get Comey to pledge to him, and Trump's tweeted threat to release "tapes" of their conversation to the press. "That would be huge," Colbert said. "I mean, it would be the first time a leaked tape ever made Donald Trump look good."

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has refused to discuss the alleged "tapes," Colbert said. Generally, "the entire week has been a messaging disaster, and sources say Trump is 'frustrated and angry at everyone' and that he's considering a 'huge reboot.' Yes, it's yet another '70s reboot, Watergate 2: Resign Harder — this summer, he is a crook."

Colbert played some of Trump's "hard-hitting interview" with Jeanine Pirro at Fox News, where Trump repeated his threat to cancel the press briefings and do them himself. "Oh, sir, please don't do your own press conferences," he said, rubbing his hands together. "They're always such fountains of eloquence and bastions of dignity — what would we make jokes about the next day?" Trump also assured Pirro that Spicer is a good guy who's just getting beat up in the press. "Okay, he's firing Sean Spicer," Colbert translated. "Luckily, that time Sean spent in the bushes will come in handy next week when he's working at the Home Depot."

"I have something to say here," Colbert said. "Donald Trump, if you're watching, first of all, you're a bad president, please resign. Second of all, please, please, please don't take Sean Spicer from us! Where else am I going to get my daily dose of veiled anger and condescension?"

If Spicer gets the boot, there's always Real News Tonight, Colbert's cheerfully pro-Trump fake-news team — though it sounds like, sadly, Jill Newslady's job isn't safe, either. Peter Weber