Speed Reads

last night on late night

Elizabeth Warren talks tax cuts and Al Franken with Stephen Colbert, but not 2020

Stephen Colbert started his interview with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Monday's Late Show by commiserating about President Trump, and then he threw her a curveball, noting that Warren and Trump both agree the 2016 Democratic primaries were "rigged." Warren took the opportunity to "clarify" her comments to CNN's Jake Tapper, then more cheerfully turned to the Democratic mini-wave in 2017, and her party's — and her own — chances in 2018, when she's up for re-election. "What about 2020?" Colbert asked, nodding to Warren's possible presidential aspirations.

She didn't bite. Democrats have to fight hard now, this week, Warren said, pointing to the GOP tax plan, which she called "$1.5 trillion in giveaways for giant corporations, for billionaires," paid for by working families. "This is about numbers, but it's about values," she said. "I don't believe one middle class person in America should have her taxes raised in order to do tax giveaways to billionaires and giant corporations."

Colbert played devil's advocate, earning a groan from the crowd and an eye-roll from Warren by bringing up trickle-down economics. "We have the data — trickle-down doesn't work," Warren said. "When you help the rich get richer, the rich get richer, and they keep it." CEOs have been admitting that on earnings calls for months, she added, urging people to call lawmakers, tweet, and take to the streets.

Colbert asked Warren if she thinks Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) should step down. She said she "was just enormously disappointed about this," but Franken will answer his "serious" sexual harassment allegations before the Senate Ethics Committee. "We're going to watch this thing play out with famous men," Warren said, but the big question is if this "moment in America" will be just "a big flash and then nothing really changes." We'll know this change is real, she said, when jerks in the office no longer feel it is safe to sexually harass their female coworkers or employees. Peter Weber