Speed Reads

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Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper can kind of see Trump's dark appeal

CNN's Anderson Cooper played a second excerpt from his interview with Stephen Colbert on Thursday's AC360, and they talked a lot in this segment about President Trump's appeal. Cooper began by asking Colbert if there isn't a "point of critical mass where people will have had enough."

"I think it's just we vote in 2020 and we find out some more about our country," Colbert shrugged. "We found out something interesting about our country in 2016, and I think what we find out every so often in presidential elections is that there's a large group of Americans — and I don't even think its necessarily Democrat or Republican — there's a large group of Americans who think the president should be a complete jerk. ... A guy who's willing to work on the dark side and get things done."

"Conservatives used to make fun of liberals for victimhood," Cooper said, but "Donald Trump — I mean, he is promoting a sense of victimhood that seems appealing to a lot of the people listening to him." Colbert agreed that this is one of Trump's appeals, that there are people who "strangely feel like they are like him or that he is like them, when I don't know anyone like him. But he says, 'You and me are the same, and I am being victimized, therefore I understand your experience.' But A, he's not being victimized, and he's like no one — he's born with a gold spoon in his mouth."

"But the odd thing about the president is that we actually know nothing about him," Colbert said, citing examples. "For a guy who always likes to have a camera pointed at him and always talks about himself, there's very little we can say about him with certainty." At the same time, he said, Trump is "really good at marketing a single idea over and over again, and I'm sure the challenge for real news is to fact-check him more than twice — because the third fact-check sounds like you're being ..." "Petty," Cooper said. "A little bitchy," Colbert countered. "But he'll never stop."