7:11pm PT by Patrick Shanley, Hilary Lewis
Stephen Colbert Calls Trump-Putin Meeting "Treason"
Stephen Colbert devoted more than 12 minutes to President Trump's poorly received summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday's Late Show. The late-night host opened with an animated musical number, inspired by vintage movie theater concession ads, in which the candy responded to Trump's comments at the post-summit presser by singing: "That was beyond all reason / And pretty close to treason … Bob Mueller make it go away."
Colbert spent his whole monologue breaking down Trump and Putin's comments at the presser and the responses from both political parties. The host aired a clip of Trump addressing whether Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, with Trump stating that his director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, "said it is Russia. Putin said it's not Russia. I don't see any reason why it would be."
Wide-eyed, Colbert was silent for a few seconds before responding: "You don't see any reason? Do you own a mirror? Because after throwing your intelligence community under the bus just then, you then threw it in reverse and then turned them into road burger."
Colbert then aired a clip of Trump praising Putin for his "extremely strong and powerful" denial, which led the host to joke, in his Trump voice, "He is extremely strong and powerful. He does not skip leg day and I know because right now I am smooching his glutes."
Back to his normal voice, Colbert addressed Trump, "What is it going to take for you to acknowledge that Putin directed his officials to help you get elected? Does he have to come out and say it, because he did."
The host then aired a clip of Putin being asked, "Did you want Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?" He responded, "Yes, I did. Yes, I did."
Colbert also poked fun at Trump saying he holds "both countries responsible … we're all to blame" for, as Colbert put it, "Russia attacking our country."
The host claimed that FDR said something similar after Pearl Harbor, adjusting the former president's famous "date that will live in infamy" speech: "A date for which both countries are to blame. I mean if we didn't want to be attacked why'd we have those sexy battleships in our big juicy harbor?"
And he took issue with Putin denying that he collected information on businessmen, like Trump, when they were in Moscow or even knew who was there. Colbert said that when he was in Russia he was followed everywhere, his phone was bugged and there were cameras in his hotel room.
Colbert also showed off a slight Putin impression, responding to Putin's offer to let special counsel Robert Mueller come to Russia as part of his investigation into possible interference in the 2016 presidential contest: "Yes come to Moscow, Mr. Mueller. Come as our guest. We will take you out, if you get my drift. We will roll out the red carpet, which is red from blood, if you know what I am saying. I'm saying we will kill you."
In his second segment, Colbert took on the harsh responses to Trump's comments, from both sides of the political aisle, saying: “It’s really upset people across the partisan divide in ways that I have not seen in years. Colbert added of Trump's meeting, "These are the worst reviews I've ever seen since Titanic ... and I'm not talking about the movie."
He continued to reiterate that Trump’s behavior “unnerved a lot of people,” including former CIA director John Brennan, who slammed Trump on Twitter for being "wholly in the pocket of Putin" and asked “Republican Patriots: Where are you?”
“That’s an excellent point," Colbert said. "That’s worth asking. Where are they?” he continued, before showing a photograph of Putin with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan poking out of his pocket.
Arizona Sen. John McCain also slammed Trump on Twitter, arguing that "the damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate."
To further prove that statement, Colbert enlisted help from a calculator to assess the formula for Trump's behavior during the summit: "Okay, egotism plus naivete times false equivalence equals — yeah, treason.”