'The Late Show': Stephen Colbert Kicks Off "Russia Week" With New Footage From His Russian TV Debut
The 'Late Show' host's recent trip to the country will be broadcast in five new episodes starting July 17.
Stephen Colbert kicked off day one of "Russia Week" on The Late Show with more jabs at Donald Trump Jr.'s Russian ties and new footage of Colbert's recent trip to the country.
"I just want to get out ahead of the story here — I recently met with a lot of Russians. I can't remember why — maybe because I was in Russia. Some of them work for the government," Colbert teased in his opening monologue. "I didn't think you'd find out; the whole week was supposed to be a secret. But someone leaked it to CBS' marketing department," he said, then mouthed, "I did."
Before diving into his Russia visit, Colbert took a moment to discuss what's been pervading the news cycle in the U.S.: Russia.
The host once again tackled the topic of Trump Jr.'s private meeting last year with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, who "is reportedly a former Soviet counterintelligence officer."
"Of course, when it comes to Don Jr. there's not much intelligence to counter," Colbert added. "Here's the deal: Akhmetshin denies any current ties to Russian spy agencies, so you know it must be true. Remember the first rule of spy club: tell everyone you're in spy club."
Colbert also took aim at the White House's declaration of "Made in America" week, noting that the announcement was possibly made to distract from the fact that Trump's "campaign was made in Russia."
Monday's episode of The Late Show broadcast the first few clips from Colbert's trip to Russia, during which he made a guest appearance on Russian talk show Evening Urgant and took to the streets of St. Petersburg to mingle with passersby.
Colbert aired footage of his backstage chat with fellow talk show host Ivan Urgant about "restrictions" on what can and cannot be said on late-night TV in Russia.
"Do you talk about Trump on your show? We talk about him all the time," Colbert said to Urgant, who replied, "That's why you guys are No. 1 now in the States." In terms of how much politics are covered on his show, Urgant noted, "We're more close to [Jimmy] Fallon than to John Oliver."
During Colbert's live taping at Evening Urgant, video of which was posted online last month, the host jokingly announced he was considering a 2020 presidential run, telling the audience, "I thought it would be better to cut out the middleman and just tell the Russians myself. If anyone would like to work on my campaign, in an unofficial capacity, please just let me know."
He also made it clear that in arranging his guest appearance on the show, he and Urgant had been working in collusion. "We agreed that I would be on the show — we colluded that I would be on the show," he joked, adding that he couldn't wait to testify before the Senate committee about colluding with Russia.
"Russia Week" will continue Tuesday with clips from Colbert's stay in the Ritz-Carlton's Presidential Suite ("Yes, that one") and conversation with Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov set to air in the next few days.