Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles President Trump

Stephen Colbert does an annotated dramatic re-enactment of Trump's colorful New York Times interview

Stephen Colbert kicked off Thursday's Late Show not with President Trump, but rather the news that O.J. Simpson was granted parole. He made some wry comments about O.J. and murder, then turned the monologue toward Trump. "Say what you want about O.J., he never met with [Russian Ambassador] Sergey Kislyak — unlike his buddy here," Colbert said, showing a photo of Simpson and Trump in happier days. "That was back in 1993, when it was still a coin toss which one of those guys would be president and which one would end up in jail." Colbert said he was surprised that Trump has only been president six months — it seems much longer — and turned to Trump's freewheeling interview with The New York Times.

Colbert, of course, had quite a bit of fun reading excerpts of Trump's Times interview — the "bad people" Trump knows, his triumphs (and hand-holding) in France and Poland, and his impression that his English-speaking G-20 dinner neighbor, Japanese first lady Akie Abe, doesn't speak English. "Sir, I think she was faking it," he said. Colbert arched an eyebrow at Trump's warning to special counsel Robert Mueller that investigating Trump's finances would be a "violation." "Oh, that's not a red flag at all," he said, noting that it also didn't work. That gave him an idea: "Mr. Trump, could you please warn Mueller not to subpoena your taxes?"

Colbert read all of the other Times interview excerpts in his Trump voice, but he played the actual audio of Trump saying he wouldn't have appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions if he'd known he would recuse himself on the Russia investigation. "That is 90-proof crazy," Colbert said. "It would have been impossible for Jeff Sessions to recuse himself because the thing he recused himself from hadn't happened yet." That led to a Back to the Future reference, followed by a fake Trump review of The Wire, because Trump apparently doesn't like Baltimore (or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.) Watch below. Peter Weber