Speed Reads

Last Night on Late Night

Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon don't buy Trump's denial he tried to 'do a coup'

Stephen Colbert noted on Thursday's Late Show that he has studiously avoided saying former President Donald Trump's name on the air and "I don't do my impression, because haven't you suffered enough?" But, he added, "there are times when you just have to slap yourself in the face, put a little cold water on the back of your neck, bear down on the bite stick, and remind yourself just how bad it was by repeating out loud the simple fact Donald Trump is a fascist. And that's not just me," Colbert said. "That's chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Mark Milley."

According to a new book, Milley called Trump's attempts to overturn President Biden's victory "a Reichstag  moment," Colbert said. "No surprise — the last president was very popular with the alt-reich. Of course the Reichstag fire was in 1930s Germany, when an attack on the country's legislative branch was used as a pretext to solidify fascist control. What the MAGA crowd did this year was totally different, because it was in English."

"Clearly, the former president didn't like the tea that Milley spill-y," Colbert said, "because earlier today the ex-prez released a statement declaring 'I'm not into coups,' adding, 'If I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is Gen. Mark Milley.'" Trump "has clearly put some thought into this thing you're 'not into,'" he noted pointedly.

"You could tell a leader really knows his stuff when he uses the phrase 'do a coup,'" Jimmy Fallon deadpanned at The Tonight Show. "For the next 15 minutes he named all the people he would 'do a coup' with." According to a different new report, "back in early 2016, Vladimir Putin approved a secret mission to help Trump win the presidency because he was 'mentally unstable' and weaken the U.S.," Fallon said. "The report said Trump was 'impulsive,' mentally unstable, and had an inferiority complex. Even crazier, they lifted that straight from the 'about the author' blurb in Trump's books. Trump said he's not unstable, then went back to walking down a ramp on all fours."