Late Night Tackles Trump White House Chaos
September 11, 2018

Stephen Colbert found some dark humor Monday in Sunday night's ouster of his boss, former CBS chief Les Moonves, but not too much. The allegations of sexual misconduct against Moonves are "extremely disturbing, and I'm not surprised that that's it," he said on The Late Show. "Les Moonves is gone — for at least nine months, until he does a set at the Comedy Cellar."

Meanwhile, President Trump is "obsessed" with finding the official in his administration who wrote that op-ed in The New York Times last week, "but he is being counseled by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to let it pass," Colbert said. "Oh, is he? Really? I bet he is. 'Yeah, Mr. President, just let it go. I mean, whoever wrote it probably didn't even see it as being a big deal. Anyway, let's just put on some Fox & Friends while I shred all examples of my handwriting.'" WikiLeaks has already cracked the mystery, determining that the writer is an "older conservative male," Colbert said, laughing. "Really, Wikisleuths, an older white male — in the Trump administration? Are you sure it it's not a socialist bisexual Latina in her early 20s?"

Colbert had a fun little riff off Kellyanne Conway's televised message for the op-ed author, and he noted that "Vice President — and man eagerly awaiting the Ides of March — Mike Pence" was willing to swear to anything that he's not the mole. Colbert spliced himself into Pence's Fox News interview and gave the VP a lie-detector test. He ended with some sobering thoughts on Bob Woodward's new book, Fear, and some less-sobering thoughts on Trump's threat to "write the real book!" "That's a bold statement, considering you didn't even write your own fake book," he said. Watch below. Peter Weber

September 7, 2018

Washington is still reeling from Wednesday's New York Times op-ed from a member of the self-described White House "resistance," Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show. All the news reports are describing it as "explosive," but "the word I would have used for this op-ed is confusing," Colbert said. "Because if you're inside the White House, pretending to be loyal to the president but secretly thwarting the president to protect the rest of us from him, why would you tell us? Now he'll try to stop you."

"Well, now the hunt for the author is on — the op-ed has sent tremors through the West Wing and launched a frantic guessing game," Colbert said. He wasn't persuaded by the argument that, due to the word "lodestar," the author was Vice President Mike Pence — though "it's so unlike Mike Pence to make a strange word choice," he deadpanned. "Just ask his wife, 'Mother.'"

"Poor Mike Pence — last night was so stressful, Mother had to read him two bedtime stories," Jimmy Kimmel said on Thursday's Kimmel Live. "Someone wrote this op-ed, and nobody knows who it is, but Sen. Rand Paul has what I think is a terrific idea: He's suggesting they give everyone a lie-detector test. I'm all for it, give everyone a lie-detector test, ask everyone on the White House staff, 'Do you think the president is a dangerous idiot?'" But Kimmel also found all the commotion "funny," because "I already know who it is, I know the name of the person who wrote this," he said. "It's Jared, it's Jared Kushner, his son-in-law." You can hear his elaborate argument for Kushner being the mole below. Peter Weber

September 6, 2018

The "alarming flavor crystals" in Bob Woodward's new White House chronicle, Fear, have refreshed that "tang of panic in the back of our throats when we remember that a former reality show star and unindicted co-conspirator is the commander in chief," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. Fear documents how "Trump's Cabinet has gone to extreme lengths to protect the country from his bad decisions," Colbert said, and while Trump calls the book pure fiction, an anonymous New York Times op-ed by a senior administration official on Wednesday begs to differ.

The op-ed "is written by someone who works for the administration, believes in its policies and goals, and still thinks the president is a dangerous idiot," Colbert said. "How many people could there be like that in the White House? I'm going to guess, count the people in the White House and subtract one." White House "staff has been defending Trump from Woodward's book all day," he added, "but now someone inside — maybe one of those same people — has found the courage to stand up and say, 'Nope, it's all true! P.S. Hide my name from the bad orange man.'"

Jimmy Kimmel read extended excerpts of the "scorching" op-ed on Wednesday's Kimmel Live. "That is really remarkable, and I have to say, I'm surprised by how good a writer Ivanka is," he joked. The "most interesting theory" on who actually wrote the op-ed points to Vice President Mike Pence, based on the word "lodestar," he explained. "This is going to drive Trump absolutely nuts. Can you imagine what it must be like to have a job at which almost everybody who works for you thinks you're a complete idiot? I can, and I'll tell you something: It's no fun at all." He had some thoughts, too, on the lightning that struck the White House on Tuesday, and you can watch that below. Peter Weber

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