Speed Reads

Late night Tackles Trump and the GOP

Stephen Colbert and Jake Tapper discuss Trump's GOP feuds, Joe McCarthy, and burning Bill O'Reilly

"Say what you will about President Trump — and I do," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show, but "he remains laser-focused on defeating America's No. 1 enemy, the press." Well, CNN's "not taking it no more," releasing a new ad featuring an apple, Colbert said. He played the ad, judged it not bad, then showed the Late Show's modified version, which is longer and cuts out some of the subtleties.

CNN's Jake Tapper was, not coincidentally, Colbert's guest on the show, and he asked him about Tuesday's big political story, the salvos at Trump from two GOP senators, Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, neither of whom is seeking re-election. "Is this an act of defiance, or is this an act of surrender in your opinion?" Colbert asked Tapper. He said he doesn't think it's an act of surrender, though "the Steve Bannons and Breitbarts of the world see that," and like Flake a few hours later, Tapper compared Trump to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, whose "crusade of indecency and smears and lies" ended only when enough people stood up to him. "President Trump and Joe McCarthy are very different historical figures, but there is something similar," Tapper said. "They say history doesn't repeat itself but it rhymes."

Colbert brought up Tapper's Twitter burn on Bill O'Reilly. "I don't even know what to ask about this — I just wanted to share with everybody that you're a very mean person, Jake Tapper," Colbert joked. "I'm a journalist, so I like to explain things, and I felt he was using the word 'low' incorrectly," Tapper deadpanned. Colbert thanked him but said he felt worse about the world after their conversation. That's his job, Tapper said. "We're not here to sugar-coat it. It's an apple." "I want a caramel apple," Colbert said. Peter Weber