Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles Trump and impeachment

Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel think it's a bad sign William Barr declined to defend Trump on Ukraine

Late night hosts on William Barr

"The big news today is that it looks like the House could wrap up impeachment by Christmas," Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show. To stave that off, President Trump has "been looking for someone to help convince us" that the transcript of his "perfect" phone call with Ukraine's president "does not say what it says." Someone like Attorney General William Barr.

"Last night we learned that after the Ukraine scandal broke, Trump asked Barr to hold a news conference stating that no laws were broken in his call with Ukraine's president," and "Barr declined," Colbert said. "Bill Barr refused to publicly defend the president? Something is seriously wrong. That's like Nicolas Cage turning down a movie role." It sounds pretty bad, he noted, but "there's only one way to make sure a story about Trump is true, and that's if he rage-tweets his denial." He read the tweet and fact-checked it.

The Barr story was first reported in The Washington Post, "and the president went Washington postal over it," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. In his "series of rage tweets," Trump "said this never happened and there were no sources, which means it definitely happened and there are multiple sources," Kimmel continued. Kimmel then suggested the House impeach Trump on Christmas so "we can start a new tradition of rewatching that every year instead of, like Rudolph."

The whole Ukraine scandal is due to Trump extorting Ukraine for dirt that doesn't exist, Kimmel said. "Basically, Trump tried to pull off a heist on a casino that had no money in it — you know, like a Trump casino, for instance."

"These guys are so out of touch with reality that when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi first announced the impeachment inquiry in September, Trump himself argued that it would actually be good for him," Seth Meyers recalled on Late Night. Tuesday's election losses and popular opinion suggest otherwise, and Trump's "flailing" defenders are going so far as to suggest he was mentally incapable of breaking the law. "So they can't be criminals because they're stupid?" he asked. "No version of that is good." Watch below. Peter Weber