Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Trump and Race

Stephen Colbert wonders about Trump's Confederate statue fixation, offers a solution

Despite the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend as various flavors of white supremacists marched ostensibly to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, cities are picking up the pace in removing Confederate statues, Stephen Colbert noted on Tuesday's Late Show. One statue was torn down by protesters in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday, but most are being removed legally. "No word yet on where the statues will end up, but I'm guessing Steve Bannon's summer home," Colbert joked. Then he offered another idea, through an in-house ad for "Kopelski Twins Confederate Statue Modification Service," the "racist erasers."

In his monologue, Colbert focused on President Trump's pugilistic press conference on Tuesday, in which the president worried about the statues of slave owners George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, asking where the left's statue-removal drive will all stop. "I'm going to say it stops at the people who tried to destroy the country that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson founded, but I'm just spitballing," Colbert said, poking fun at Trump's claim that Jefferson was a "major slave owner." Sure, "easily in the Top 5 slave owners," he said. "Yeah, it goes Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Jabba the Hut, Ivanka's clothing line — there's a lot of them."

Colbert also disagreed with Trump's equal blame for "the white supremacist alt-right" and what Trump called the "alt-left," which is not a thing. "First of all, sir, the opposite of alt-right isn't the alt-left, it's the not-Nazis," he said, conceding Trump's point that not all the marchers were white supremacists and neo-Nazis. "That's right, some of them were anti-Semites — it was very diverse."

And if you're worried about Bannon, don't: According to The Late Show, he has quite the résumé. Watch things almost get NSFW below. Peter Weber