Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Trump and Russia

Stephen Colbert isn't buying the White House story about Trump, dictator of his son's misleading Russia statement

When Donald Trump Jr. was discovered to have met with a bunch of Russians who turned out to have ties to Russian intelligence, he "released a statement saying he didn't know who he was meeting with and they mostly talked about adoption," not Hillary Clinton, Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. "Those were lies, including the lie that he said it," because according to The Washington Post, President Trump dictated the statement. "He dictated it," Colbert said. "It's official — Donald Trump is a dictator, technically."

"Don Jr. gets in trouble, he literally got his daddy to write a note for him," Colbert recapped. According to his advisers, Trump "believes he is innocent" and "therefore does not think he is at any legal risk," he added, rolling his eyes. "And everyone knows you can't be convicted if you're not guilty in your mind." But "as bad as this looks for Trump — and it looks bad — it looks even worse for his lawyer," Jay Sekulow, he said.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the Trumps on Tuesday, playing a little fast and loose with the word "truth" and trying hard to make what Trump apparently did seem normal and wholesome, something any father would do for his 39-year-old son. "Yes, like any father would," Colbert said. "It's one of those father-and-son things, it's tradition, like playing catch or going fishing or preventing your son from implicating you in treason." He sang a short, modified version of the Harry Chapin song "Cat in the Cradle."

That was all before Trump appointed John Kelly as chief of staff, apparently because he was willing to stand up to the president, Colbert said. "No surprise, Trump respects people who don't suck up to him, starting yesterday." Kelly has his work cut out for him. "We just learned a prankster tricked White House officials into replying to his emails," Colbert noted. "He must have used some sort of tricky subject line, like: 'Confidential and Criminal: Dirt on Hillary. Russia Collude-A-Palooza!'" The most embarrassing victims of the prank may be White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert, who is in charge of the cybersecurity portfolio, but lots of high-profile aides were tricked. In fact, the one person who caught on was Eric Trump, Colbert said. "Yes, Eric was immediately suspicious when some one in the administration tried to talk to him." Watch below. Peter Weber