Speed Reads

Late night Tackles the government shutdown

Stephen Colbert playfully mocks Trump's 'medieval' wall argument

"Last night, Donald Trump jumped the border of America's prime-time lineup to make his demands" to end the government shutdown, "and I will say, he seemed less spirited than usual," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "Why was he so calm if there's a crisis?" He mocked Trump for claiming that "law enforcement professionals" had requested the $5.7 billion for Trump's long-promised border wall, and for asserting that Democrats had asked him to put up a steel fence instead of a concrete wall. "Mr. President, steel slats are not the metal bars we want you behind," Colbert said.

"In the end, Trump's big network-interrupting Oval Office liar-side chat was his old immigration talking points with nothing new," Colbert said. "Speaking of nothing new, the Democratic response." Ugh, he said, pointing at House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, "it looks like America's about to get the sex talk." Trump apparently didn't want to give the speech, telling TV anchors beforehand that "it's not going to change a damn thing, but I'm still doing it," he added, "which would also be a very honest pitch for the wall."

"But if Trump seemed a little too on-script last night, don't you worry, because today he unleashed the full director's cut at an impromptu yell-at-the-press event," Colbert said. Trump claimed he didn't want this fight, after saying otherwise in December, but he does want the wall, because it worked in medieval times. "You really cannot go wrong with medieval technology," Colbert deadpanned, mentioning alchemy and leeches. He ended with Trump's odd, repeated request for guidance from ABC's Jonathan Karl. Watch below. Peter Weber