Speed Reads

Quotables

Chuck Schumer tells Stephen Colbert how Trump can prove he isn't a racist

Stephen Colbert greeted Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) with a question on Monday's Late Show: "How's your friend Donald Trump?" "Getting worse every day," Schumer said. He said Trump tried flattery and calling him names, but Democrats "stick by our values," laying out an election year theme: "We're standing strong, and we're the check on Donald Trump." Schumer said he has no doubt that President Trump said he does not want immigrants from "shithole countries."

"Do you think that Donald Trump is a racist?" Colbert asked. "Look, his comments over and over and over again can be described as nothing but racist and obnoxious. He says he's not a racist," Schumer said. "So I have a challenge for Donald Trump, okay? Actions speak louder than words. You want to begin, just begin, that long road back to proving you're not a racist, you're not bigoted? Support the bipartisan compromise that three Republicans and three Democrats have put on the floor — everyone gave! — and get the DREAMers safety here in America." He said if that bill was put on the floor, it would pass in both the House and Senate, but Trump is in the way. "If you're going to listen to farthest right, we will never have an immigration policy," Schumer said.

Schumer was bullish on 2018. "I think the odds are greater than half that we will take back the Senate," he told Colbert. "I think the House odds are very good too." He conceded that being a check on Trump wasn't enough: "We have to show average folks that we're on their side while Trump is on the side of the wealthy and powerful interests. If we do both, we'll take back the House and the Senate." Schumer endorsed a cartoon version of his negotiations with Trump, and finished by dodging a question about how Democrats handled the case of Al Franken. Watch below. Peter Weber