Late Night Tackles the Mueller Report
May 3, 2019

Thursday morning, President Trump "attended a prayer breakfast where he quoted Christ's parable on the Mueller 'witch hunt,'" Stephen Colbert joked on Thursday's Late Show. Trump also "touched on this country's No. 1 spiritual concern, mall signage," and eventually "quoted from the Bible," awkwardly. Colbert showed that clip and laughed: "He has never read one word of the Bible before."

"My head is still spinning from yesterday's Senate testimony of Attorney General William Barr," Colbert said. "Barr's performance yesterday angered a lot of Democrats," and they're "especially upset that Barr lied to Congress," which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi noted is a crime, he added. "Yes, when the attorney general lies to Congress, it is a crime. When the president does it, it is the State of the Union."

"Anyway, Barr lied to the Senate, and today he was scheduled to lie to the House of Representatives," Colbert said, "but he did not show up."

Yes, Barr "was a no-show for his own hearing," Trevor Noah said at The Daily Show, and the Democrats had props. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), notably, brought a "bucket of KFC to imply that the attorney general was chicken for not showing up," he said, "Look, this was clearly a stunt, because a bucket of fried chicken isn't going to get Bill Barr to come and testify. But it will get Donald Trump to come and see Congress."

"Dude, if you want to order KFC, just order KFC, it's fine — you don't need to tie it in to the hearing," Seth Meyer said on Late Night. "So Barr decided not to show up, and yet Republicans on the committee still wanted time to complain — not about Barr, but about the Democrats." Until their mics were cut off. "Wow, forget muting someone on Twitter — turns out you can mute them in real life," Meyers said. "Seriously, can we please try that next time Trump holds a rally?" Watch his demonstration below. Peter Weber

May 2, 2019

Attorney General William Barr faced some tough questions in Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, many of them about his misleading four-page summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report. "He released his opening statement ahead of time, and guess how long it was?" Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "Four pages, evidently, is the perfect length to say nothing. 'Okay, class, I want you to read Moby Dick tonight, then do a four-page summary of what you wish the book was about."

After Barr's opening remarks, "the senators began the Q&A — they asked the Qs, and what he lacked in A he made up in hole," Colbert joked. "Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono took her whacks at this piñata of perjury," he said, but "the true star of the Barr-bashing" was Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who stumped him with the word "suggest."

Barr put in quite an appearance, Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. "It's rare you get to see a fat man tap-dance for five hours straight."

"Republicans in the Senate were very defensive, they did everything they could to change the subject from obstruction," Kimmel recapped. "Democrats were mad, they believe this is a coverup of a coverup of the coverup, and that the attorney general is more interested in obeying his boss than obeying the law. Multiple Democrats called for Barr to resign today; multiple Republicans feigned outrage when they did it. ... The Republicans say the Mueller report isn't what the Democrats hoped it would be so now they want to do it all over again. The Democrats say the report is exactly what we thought it would be so why is the attorney general saying it wasn't? And that seems to be Robert Mueller's position, too."

Kimmel had some fun with Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-S.C.) F-bomb and noted that "Trump spent hours today watching TV, tweeting, and retweeting — that's not a president, that's a teenager on summer vacation" — and he got "trolled pretty good" with one retweet. Watch below. Peter Weber

May 2, 2019

"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

April 18, 2019

After two years, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report will be made public Thursday, Stephen Colbert half-celebrated on Wednesday's Late Show. Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein will discuss the report at 9:30 a.m., before releasing it hours later, and it "will undoubtedly blow the lid off Donald Trump's corruption," Colbert deadpanned, holding up a dozen eggs. "Until then, I will pass the time counting my chickens, which I will safely place in one basket."

"One person who's likely to appear in the report is WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange," dragged out of Ecuador's London embassy last week "looking like Gandalf the Douche," Colbert said. Why did Ecuador revoke his asylum after seven years? "Well for one, Ecuador's government accused him of spying on other countries from their embassy and of hacking the phone of their president, Lenín Moreno, then posting this picture of Moreno eating lobster in bed," he said. "Also, Assange, it turns out, is the worst roommate on Planet Earth."

According to embassy staff, Assange rode a skateboard in the halls, played loud music at all hours, walked around in his underwear, refused to care for his cat, stunk up the embassy with his lack of personal hygiene, smeared feces on the wall, and he'd "always take what was clearly marked as 'Ecuador's Yogurt — Do Not Eat,'" Colbert joked. "To back up their point, Ecuador leaked this security camera footage" skateboarding badly.

"Now, a lot of people have been worried about the cat — remember the cat that he's not feeding?" Colbert said, and he used Embassy Cat's outfits to pivot back to the Mueller report and Russian collusion.

The "known tie to Russian intelligence" is the one holding the cat. Watch below. Peter Weber

April 17, 2019

The public will finally get to see Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Thursday afternoon — well, a colorfully redacted version, hours after Attorney General William Barr has offered yet another preview of its conclusions and President Trump's lawyers have released their rebuttal. Congress will get the report on CD and the public will then get access to a PDF (presumably), but if you don't want to read all 400 pages of the Mueller report, Audible has promised a free audiobook version.

Stephen Colbert's Late Show offered a preview of that audiobook on Wednesday night, and it figured out a clever way to highlight how annoying all the redactions will be. Like, seriously annoying. Watch below. Peter Weber

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