Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles TrumpCare

Stephen Colbert is kind of impressed with Trump's Shakespearean strong-arming on health care

TrumpCare died earlier this week, "but Trump won't take please-don't-do-this-it-will-cost-us-the-midterms for an answer," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. So the president invited Senate Republicans to lunch Wednesday, and he "kicked off the event with some lighthearted bullying of one of the senators opposed to the bill, Nevada's Dean Heller."

Nobody's sure if this tough-guy approach will work for Trump, but Colbert was impressed with one of Trump's tweets on the subject, or at least its final line: "The Dems scream death as OCare dies!" "Oh my god, that last part is almost poetic," Colbert said, reading it again and noting it scans in iambic tetrameter. "You know, it's true what they say: If you leave a man with the brain of 100 monkeys in front of a keyboard long enough, eventually he'll write Shakespeare." Colbert donned a Shakespearean collar, picked up poor Yorick's skull, and ran with it.

Colbert next expressed surprise about Trump's undisclosed meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, a foreign rival he's accused of colluding with to get elected. "That's like if O.J. does get out on parole and immediately goes glove shopping," he said. Trump said the meeting was "brief," but it apparently lasted up to an hour. Still, the White House insists that "the insinuation that the White House has tried to 'hide' a second meeting is false, malicious, and absurd," Colbert read. "Strong words. And, I think we've also found Trump's re-election slogan: 'Trump 2020 — False, Malicious, and Absurd.'"

"Here's the thing: I want to believe Trump here, I really want to believe that the president of the United States is just shooting the breeze with a guy he's accused of colluding with for the second time that day, for an hour," Colbert said. "But here's why it's hard to believe him: He lies about everything. He lies about crowd size, voter fraud, till death do us part. He's the boy who cried Wolf Blitzer is fake news. This might actually be a nothingburger, but every time they tell us it's a nothingburger, it turns out to be a juicy quarter-pounder with sleaze."

Colbert said he is choosing to believe that nothing happened in the meeting with Putin, but just to be sure, The Late Show asked the German waitstaff what the two men talked about at dinner. (They all have flawless American accents.) Watch below. Peter Weber