Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles the Mueller Report

Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah found William Barr's Senate testimony frustrating. So Colbert stepped in.

"Happy Bill Barr Day, everybody," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "I got you all the traditional gift: a bucket of lies." Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee grilling of the attorney general "was incredibly frustrating to watch, filled with legalistic hair-splitting and political ass-covering," Colbert said. "The hearing was always going to be contentious — we knew that" because on Tuesday night we found out that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had complained to Barr that his four-page summary of Mueller's report didn't accurately capture the "context, nature, and substance" of Mueller's work.

"Context, nature, substance — that is ... everything," Colbert said. "That's like saying: 'I really like what you did with this, you know, car — except the wheels, the engine, and the car.'" Still, he added, "it's nice to know that Mueller is as mad as we are."

"Mueller was especially mad that Barr's letter made the public more confused about his report, not less," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show. "Barr's letter was basically the Justice Department equivalent of every announcement on the subway." Mueller, we learned, was also "unhappy with how the attorney general spun the investigation to make Trump look good," he added, and "the Democrats used Mueller's letter to paper-cut Barr to pieces."

But Barr "didn't just show up to be their punching bag," Noah said. No, he "basically spent the entire hearing being defensive and combative," and kind of a jerk. "America, I feel I have discovered a fundamental flaw in your democracy: You have no defense against someone just being a d-ck," he said. And "because Barr has refused to show up to testify to the House tomorrow, it looks like a potential Mueller hearing is the Democrats' last hope."

Well, not if Colbert has any say in the matter. Watch his grilling of Barr below. Peter Weber