Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Trump and Russia

Stephen Colbert, melding Trump scandals, asks what if 'Mueller doesn't take the $130,000 in hush money'

Stephen Colbert started Tuesday's Late Show with the big news about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, using a Keebler elf to imagine Attorney General Jeff Sessions' just-confirmed testimony. "This is huge, because it is the first time investigators have interviewed a member of Trump's Cabinet," Colbert noted. "Probably not the last." He made some jokes about former FBI Director James Comey's testimony to Mueller, and pointed to breaking news that Mueller wants to interview Trump ASAP.

"This could be very bad for Trump, especially if Mueller doesn't take the $130,000 in hush money," Colbert joked, acting out why Trump's lawyers are nervous about letting Trump go under oath.

Democrats pretty clearly lost the government shutdown, thanks in part to the White House's brilliant "keep Trump contained" strategy, Colbert said, nevertheless pointing out some pitfalls of letting Trump watch the action play out on TV. Still, the shutdown was actually ended by a bipartisan group of moderate senators who worked out their differences using a "talking stick" imported from Africa, until things got a little out of hand, nearly ending the life of a glass elephant. "Wow, a heated discussion almost destroyed the symbol of the Republican Party," Colbert said. "I think the full details in this month's issue of Heavy Handed Metaphor Magazine."

Vice President Mike Pence is the latest figure to weigh in on allegations that Trump had an extramarital affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, saying he won't discuss the "baseless allegations" against Trump. "First of all, these are not baseless allegations — she says he rounded the bases," Colbert said. Family Research Council president Tony Perkins knows who Stormy Daniels is, but he gave Trump a "mulligan" on the affair. "Yes, a mulligan!" Colbert said. "Because marriage is like golf: both things Trump claims to love but constantly cheats on — allegedly." Watch below. Peter Weber