Late-Night Hosts Tackle "Mueller Time" Following Indictment Announcement
"The Trump administration is turning into a game of Clue, but since it's Trump, Clueless.”
Late-night hosts were quick to pounce on Monday morning's news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election resulted in indictments for President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, on felony charges of conspiracy against the United States and other counts, as well as a guilty plea by former adviser George Papadopoulos to interactions between Trump campaign associates and Russian intermediaries during the campaign.
On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert started by addressing White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ comments in a press briefing that the indictments had nothing to do with Trump and more to do with Hillary Clinton. “Of course, Hillary Clinton colluded with Russia to lose the election,” Colbert said.
When addressing the previous statements by Trump and his administration that they "never knew of any attempt to coordinate with Russia," Colbert looked for a phrase to sum up the news from Mueller. "How do I say this...'Fake News,' " Colbert quipped, imitating Trump's voice.
Colbert also took aim at Papadopoulos' attempts to arrange meetings with Russian officials, saying, "You can't do that. That's Don Jr.'s job."
Over on the Daily Show, Trevor Noah found a bright side to the "crappy day" Manafort was having. "At least it happened before Halloween, because now he can change his costume to sexy convict," the Comedy Central host said.
“I pray to God that he has to testify, because we already know from the campaign that he’s the worst liar,” the host went on before playing a clip of Manafort stuttering while answering a CBS host's questions about Trump/Russian ties from last year.
NBC's Seth Meyers also addressed the issue on Late Night during his "Closer Look" segment, which focused on how the Trump administration is discrediting the investigation and poked fun at the choice of words used by Trump, Manafort and other key players while trying to defend their actions. Meyers showed clips of Manafort fumbling for words during a CBS This Morning interview. He also showed Trump’s series of tweets on the issue, commenting that the president “is not handling this well.”
"He is so bad at this,” said Meyers. "It’s like getting pulled over and saying, ‘I wasn’t speeding, officer, and there’s no cocaine in the glove compartment! Don’t look there. It’s a waste of your time.'’”
Meyers added, "The Trump administration is turning into a game of Clue, but since it’s Trump, Clueless.”
He also noted that while most news outlets were reporting on the breaking investigation, Fox News was covering a different story: a glitch in Google's cheeseburger emoji.
On The Late Late Show with James Corden, Corden joked about the controversy occurring before Halloween.
“Now there’s talk that Manafort didn’t really get it when the FBI showed up at his door. He handed out candy and was like, ‘And who are you supposed to be?'”
Corden then proceeded to show a news clip of Manafort stuttering after being asked about Trump’s Russia ties in July 2016.
“Do we really need the FBI in all of this? My six-year old would watch that video and go, ‘Yeah, that guy’s lying,'” the late-night host said.
Responding to Trump’s tweet asking why “Crooked Hillary” and “The Dems” weren't a focus, Corden retorted by saying he thought “Crooked Hillary and the Dems” would make a “pretty amazing name for a band.”
Corden also compared Trump's attempt to steer attention to Clinton as someone being charged in a murder case and saying, “look at O.J. Simpson" instead.
Meanwhile on the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon also compared the Mueller investigation to the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial, joking that Trump could show his nerves the same way the former NFL star did.
"He just hopped into a white Ford Bronco and took off down the highway,” Fallon joked of Trump.
Fallon also joked about Manafort’s questionable interview, saying his stuttering showcased “the way someone guilty talks.”