Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Trump and Russia

Stephen Colbert says the Russia fiasco explains why Trump doesn't write murder mysteries

Elections have consequences, and right now, America is knee-deep in a "steaming pile of consequence," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. "Because right now, things that are self-evidently bad are being sold to us, by people who know better, as perfectly okay." The Late Show taped before the newest scandal surrounding President Trump hit the presses, so Colbert focused on Monday's bombshell about Trump sharing highly classified information with top Russian officials, with Tuesday's updates. Reportedly, "Israel was the source of the intelligence Trump gave the Russians, and oops-a-shalom, Trump is scheduled to visit Israel next week," he said. "That is really going to be one awkward state dinner."

To tamp down the story, Trump sent out National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster with "a complete denial, by the most respected member of the Trump administration — smart strategy," Colbert said. "And following that, Donald Trump did the right thing by giving someone else the final word and not contradicting it on Twitter — I'm just kidding." In fact, Trump essentially "confessed" to spilling state secrets. "This explains why he doesn't write murder mysteries," Colbert said. "'Chapter 1: I did it.'"

"So to recap," he said, after laying out the details, "Donald Trump admitted to firing the man in charge of investigating his Russian ties, then he met with two Russian diplomats — a meeting that was arranged by Vladimir Putin, and which we only saw because Russian photographers were in there to take photos — and at that meeting, he admits he gave Russian diplomats classified information." Colbert noted some reactions from Republicans, including a pre-reaction from a certain presidential candidate who said we shouldn't allow presidents who mishandle classified and secret information in the Oval Office. "I gotta say," he said, "and I don't care if this is taken out of context, I completely agree with Donald Trump."

Colbert turned next to the other people affected by Trump's scandals. "I do not envy those people at the White House," he said. "I would not want to be working there right now, and apparently neither would the people who work at the White House." He interviewed one of them, and yes, there is a hedge joke in there. Peter Weber