Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Trump versus Mueller

Stephen Colbert puts the Trump team's now-confirmed Russia meeting lies in context, pokes Paul Manafort

Last year, Donald Trump Jr. released a statement saying, falsely, that the June 2016 meeting he agreed to in Trump Tower with Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton was about adoption. President "Trump clearly wrote that statement for his son — you knew as soon as you read it — but if that were true, that would be obstruction of justice," Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show, "so the president and his team have repeatedly denied having anything to do with it" — until his lawyers recently admitted that Trump did dictate the statement.

"Of course he did!" Colbert said. "That letter could not have been more 'by Donald Trump' if it had been written in bronzer on the back of a KFC bucket. Because — and here's the thing you can't forget — everything you think happened with Donald Trump is always exactly what happened. Anyone who's surprised to find out he's lying probably watches Titanic going, 'Oooh, I hope that boat's going to be okay.'" So Trump lied to the public, and so did his lawyer Jay Sekulow and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who had a novel reason the president intervened, Colbert said. "Yes, advice on hiding your crimes from the feds is what any father would do — I'm sorry, that's what any godfather would do."

Paul Manafort, who was also at the Trump Tower meeting, is now "under house arrest on 23 counts of fraud and conspiracy in two different states," Colbert said. But Manafort may end up going to jail because, according to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, he tried to tamper with witnesses. "Manafort used an encrypted messaging app to contact one of them, saying, 'We should talk,'" Colbert said. "He should have gone with the classic: 'u up? ... for lying to Robert Mueller?' And the plan would have worked except for one tiny flaw: The witness immediately gave the texts to the FBI." Watch below. Peter Weber