Stephen Colbert started Monday's Late Show by half-joking that he missed having an audience to share the crazy news with when he was off last week, in part because he wasn't sure if Kanye West really proposed repealing the 13th Amendment in the Oval Office with President Trump, or whether that was just an absinthe dream. "But one of the strangest and most horrifying stories last week was the disappearance and presumed murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi," who Turkish investigators say was killed and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, he said.
One of the more gruesome details involves the alleged 15-man Saudi hit squad that arrived in Istanbul with a bone saw shortly after Khashoggi vanished; one of the 15 was apparently a Saudi intelligence autopsy expert. "He's also star of the CBS procedural, CS-I Am the Murderer," Colbert joked, darkly. "Very short episodes — they find the body, he did it, roll credits." The Saudis long denied killing Khashoggi, "but the evidence is overwhelming that Saudi Arabia committed a horrific, violent act," he said, "which can mean only one thing: We're invading Iraq!"
"No reasonable person would take Saudi Arabia's denial seriously," Colbert said, cutting to footage of President Trump suggesting "rogue killers" murdered Khashoggi because the Saudi king denied any involvement. "Here's how weak Trump's excuse is: Even Saudi Arabia is not buying it," he said, pointing to reports saying the Saudis will assert Khashoggi died during an interrogation gone wrong. "Let me ask an obvious question: Any interrogation that involves 15 men and a bone saw, how does that go right?" Colbert ended with one possible explanation for Trump repeatedly bending over backwards to excuse the Saudis, and you can watch below. Peter Weber