Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Trump and Russia

Stephen Colbert finds the humor and danger in the GOP's FBI 'secret society' shenanigans

President Trump has now been in Davos at the World Economic Forum for a day, and Stephen Colbert ran through some highlights — telling Britain's Theresa May how warm their relationship is, making lots of confusing "table" references with Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu. But "before Trump left for Davos, he surprised reporters — and this really was a surprise — they were waiting by John Kelly's office and he gave them an unplanned press conference," Colbert said. There were no cameras, "but we did get to hear the president make a stunning promise about the Russia investigation," saying he was looking forward to talking to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and specifically doing it under oath. "Incidentally, Doing it Under Oath is my favorite Stormy Daniels movie," Colbert said, slyly.

"The big story in Washington continues to be Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, and a lot of Republicans think it's compromised because of one FBI agent who was on Mueller's team," Colbert said. The big buzz this week was a text from the agent's girlfriend, an FBI lawyer, alluding to a "secret society." "Gotcha!" Colbert said, spritzing sarcasm. "Because when you're in a secret society, you always make sure to call it 'the secret society,' and you meet in a place with a big sign that says 'Secret Society Meeting,' and you have a secret handshake where we shake hands and whisper the word, 'secret.'"

Colbert explained that the text in question was a standalone reference to a "gag gift" involving Vladimir Putin-themed calendars, but some Republicans took it very seriously, notably Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). Uncharacteristically, Colbert didn't find Johnson's going on TV "to willfully misinterpret a joke text to panic the public that the FBI is involved in a Deep State conspiracy to overthrow the president" particularly funny.

The Late Show did find some humor in the FBI "secret society" in its cold open, though. Sorry, Smash Mouth. Peter Weber