Stephen Colbert started off his interview with former FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday's Late Show by jokingly asking for his loyalty, as President Trump allegedly did, and Comey stared him down for a minute. Colbert lightened things up by pouring them paper cups of pinot noir, like Comey drank on the plane ride back to Washington after Trump fired him last year.
Comey explained his comparison of Trump and his entourage to a mafia family. "If you felt like you were working for a mob boss, were you surprised that you got whacked?" Colbert asked. Comey laughed and said no, "because that would be a crazy thing to do — why would you fire the FBI director who's leading the Russia investigation?" "Because you're leading the Russia investigation," Colbert said. "I don't know if you've dealt with mob bosses before, but they don't like to be investigated." Comey told Colbert that yes, he does know classified things about the Russia investigation, but he can't talk about them. "Drink some more wine," Colbert joked.
When Colbert asked Comey how he felt about Trump tweeting mean things about him, Comey joked that he's "like a breakup he can't get over. ... I'm out there living my best life. He wakes up in the morning and tweets at me." He said he wasn't "trying to make fun" or light of Trump with his one paragraph describing Trump's hair, skin, and hands, he was just "trying to observe and report," like an author.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Colbert had some tough questions about Comey's decisions on the Hillary Clinton email investigation, then asked if Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation ends if Trump fires Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein? "I think most likely it goes on. I think you would need to fire everyone in the Justice Department and the FBI to stop that investigation," Comey said. "I could imagine U.S. attorney's offices picking it up, FBI field offices picking it up. I think it would be very hard to shut that down by firing."
Comey ended on a hopeful note, affirming his belief that America will thrive after Trump. "I see all parts of civil society, the media, the courts, even Congress starting to get off its read end — I see parts of this country being energized that haven't been energized, frankly, since the last great forest fire, which was Watergate." Watch below. Peter Weber
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.