Late night hosts tackle Trump's Putin praise, Putin's Ukraine invasion, Trump's invasion confusion

Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale attack on Ukraine early Thursday, and Thursday's Late Show borrowed a Dark Knight Rises clip to highlight the absurdity of his justification.

That wasn't the only "lame excuse" Putin used to justify launching "the biggest ground war in Europe since World War II," Stephen Colbert said on The Late Show. "'De-Nazify'? That's hard to do when you're acting like de Nazis."

"Leaders from across the globe condemned Putin's illegal invasion, including Joe Biden, who smacked Putin with a whole bunch of new sanctions," Colbert said, including one on "'corrupt billionaires' and their families who are close to the Kremlin. Of course, that's emotionally and financially close to the Kremlin — they can still live at Mar-a-Lago."

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Former President Donald Trump "has been out there pushing a pro-Putin agenda forever," and "as the invasion began, the ex-pres took to Russian state media — I'm sorry, I misread that: Fox News" — and got a little mixed up about who was invading Ukraine, Colbert said. "Sometimes he has trouble telling the difference between America and Russia. He knows he works for one of them."

Yes, after telling Fox News that Biden is "stupid," Trump "in that same interview got confused and thought Americans had launched an amphibious attack in Ukraine — which he started complaining about, until Fox host Laura Ingraham corrected him," Seth Meyers said on Late Night.

Ingraham also called Ukrainian President Volodymyr's Russian-language plea for Putin not to invade a "pathetic display," and Meyers wasn't having it. "What would you say is more pathetic: Trying to stave off a Russian invasion that would cause mass suffering and death by speaking in a second language, or having to explain to a former president live on television that it was Russia and not America who was reportedly launching a secret amphibious assault in Ukraine? I'd ask these people how they sleep at night, but I'm guessing they own a MyPillow, which means they don't sleep at all."

Trump has long praised Putin, Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. This week alone he said his "KGBFF" is a "genius" and "called what he's doing 'wonderful.' He keeps defending Putin, which is embarrassing at this point. He's never gonna date you, dude. Give it up." He had a highlight reel of Trump praising Putin.

The Late Show also noted Trump's "genius" Putin-licking, then engineered him praising other "murderous thugs."

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Peter Weber

Peter Weber is a senior editor at, and has handled the editorial night shift since the website launched in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University, Peter has worked at Facts on File and The New York Times Magazine. He speaks Spanish and Italian and plays bass and rhythm cello in an Austin rock band. Follow him on Twitter.