9:34am PT by Hilary Lewis
Stephen Colbert, Anthony Scaramucci, Michael Avenatti Talk Michael Cohen, Russian Collusion
Amid reports that former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci and Stormy Daniels' (aka Stephanie Clifford) lawyer, Michael Avenatti, may be teaming up for a TV show, the two outspoken public figures with ties to the Trump administration gave TV viewers a preview of what their pairing might look like on Wednesday's Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
Scaramucci and Avenatti joined Colbert for a lively, wine-fueled discussion about the latest political news, including Michael Cohen's legal situation and whether President Trump colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election. Colbert also seemed quite engaged in the debate.
Colbert began by asking if Scaramucci and Avenatti were indeed teaming up for a TV show. Avenatti dismissed speculation with a joke alluding to Scaramucci's nickname, "The Mooch," saying he has a rule that he won't do a TV show with someone whose first name is "The." Meanwhile, Scaramucci teased that he saw a potential show between them as the male version of Thelma and Louise.
Colbert wasted no time in joking about the film's famous ending: "Well, this administration is certainly driving the country off a cliff."
Talk quickly turned to Cohen, who reportedly lost his legal team amid rumors he'll flip on Trump or he'll be arrested. Colbert asked, "Which one do you think is about to happen?"
"I think that both are going to happen. I predicted a couple of months ago that Michael Cohen was going to be indicted, that he was in a whole heap-load of trouble, and I think that we've seen that play out over the last couple of months," Avenatti said. "There's no question in my mind that he's going to be indicted and no question in my mind that he's going to try and flip on the president. I think Michael Cohen is in a very, very bad spot and I think the president is in a very, very bad spot because this is what happens when you trust your innermost secrets to a moron."
Scaramucci, meanwhile, defended Cohen's situation while adding that he believed Cohen will be indicted.
"I think he has to develop a strategy related to his legal team to get the right people pursuant to what the indictment is, and I don't think he has that right now, so that's why this shift is going on," Scaramucci said. "He's got a whole slate of lawyers that are out there that want to represent him. But I think he doesn't know — to be candid — what the actual indictment is going to be. I think he's been left in the dark on that. So I think once the charges are made, he'll back into a strategy and the right legal team."
Colbert also revealed that Scaramucci had earlier called Cohen to ask about whether he'd flip on the president, jokingly demanding that someone get Scaramucci's phone and get Cohen on the line because he wanted to talk to Cohen.
Still, Scaramucci, who said no lawyer would let their client talk at this point, couldn't say if Cohen will flip: "I don't want to speculate. I actually don't know."
By this point, Scaramucci and Avenatti had switched seats, the first of two seat swaps during the interview. Colbert had brought out some rosé for himself and his two guests, which they continued to drink during the interview, with the Mooch saying at one point, as he used two hands to bring the glass to his mouth, that he was drinking like Trump drinks water.
Colbert really got fired up when he asked the pair, "What do you make of the fact that it was revealed that Donald Trump did dictate [the memo] obfuscating Donald Trump Jr.'s acceptance of an invitation to collude with the Russian government to get information on Hillary Clinton? That was revealed by his lawyers to the Justice Department, to Mueller's team. He did dictate that. That's another lie. Are you OK with the lies?"
Colbert let Avenatti answer first: "This is what happens when your whole administration is built on lies. Lying is the rule rather than the exception with this administration. And when you can't keep your lies straight, this is what happens."
Scaramucci then offered, "Politicians lie when their mouths are moving," insisting that other presidents have lied.
Colbert objected: "If you lie … there is a consequence for having been caught. That is the foundation of public morality and ethics. If you say he lies and that's fine, where are we going?"
Scaramucci said, "I'm not trying to justify the lies. I'm just trying to put it in historical context. … Most people have to lie."
Colbert interrupted, "But not about colluding with the Russian government to undermine our democracy. That's a big difference. Yes, they colluded. You're a lawyer, you know that a failed collusion is still collusion. If you've got goods to fence and you say, 'I'll meet you at midnight' and you don't show up, you still tried to fence your goods."
When Scaramucci said he didn't think Trump knew about the meeting and that it was about "the child adoption situation," Colbert threw himself back in his chair, disputing that and claiming the "adoption situation" is about lifting sanctions against Russian oligarchs.
In conclusion, Scaramucci said, "The president did not collude with the Russians related to the election."
At that point, Scaramucci and Avenatti again switched seats and Colbert said of the wine, "I would just like the bottle and a straw, please."
"I want to warn our affiliates that we might be going long," he continued. "I want to apologize to James Corden for bumping his hour."
The trio also discussed Rudy Giuliani, whether Trump would pardon himself, the president's summit with Kim Jong Un in North Korea and the relationship between the White House and the press.
Watch the full interview below.