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After President Donald Trump made a speech Thursday in which he repeated claims that there were fraudulent votes in the 2020 presidential contest and that the election was rigged, The Late Show host Stephen Colbert blasted the president for trying to “poison American democracy.”
Visibly upset over Trump’s speech, Colbert said at the top of his show that he was “dressed for a funeral” because Trump “tried really hard to kill something” in his speech. Colbert explained that for over 15 minutes, Trump stated “nonsensical stuff” and “lied” to the American people.
“If you did not know that Joe Biden was getting close to 270, Donald Trump just provided all the proof you will ever need,” Colbert said.
Though he says Trump’s behavior is “predictable,” Colbert argued that the president needs to “get a new act. … We all knew he would do this,” Colbert added before pausing, at a loss for words.
“What I didn’t know is that it would hurt so much,” Colbert said. “I didn’t expect this to break my heart. For him to cast a dark shadow on our most sacred right from the briefing room in the White House, our house. Not his. That is devastating.”
Colbert continued to argue that holding office “means something” and a president “should have some shred of decency.” But with Trump making continuous claims of voter fraud, Colbert said that everything Trump says or does is “now in some way presidential behavior” unless “every single person rejects what he just did.”
The late night host then pleaded for Republicans to “speak up” because “for evil to succeed, all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing.
“Donald Trump is a fascist and when it comes to democracy versus fascism, I’m sorry, there are not fine people on both sides. So you need to choose: Donald Trump or the American people. This is the time to get off the Trump train, because he told you where the train is going and it’s not a passenger train and he’ll load you on it someday, too.”
With Republican leaders such as Sen. Mitch McConnell staying silent amid Trump’s fight, Colbert said the American people will keep note of who remains silent and who speaks up against Trump’s claims.
“He just attacked the thing that makes us most great. It’s time for you all to mean what your hats have been yelling.” Colbert explained to viewers that he refused to show any clips from Trump’s press briefing because “it’s poison.”
Adding, “He can suck silence.”
Following Colbert’s monologue, stars such as Mark Ruffalo, Alyssa Milano and Danny Zuker thanked the late night host on social media for his emotional words. “Damn. I never thought I would see Colbert break down. Wow. I get it,” Ruffalo tweeted.
Earlier in the day as Trump spoke, some media outlets, including ABC, NBC, MSNBC and USA Today, stopped airing his remarks mid-speech. Though CNN kept Trump’s speech on the air, anchor Jake Tapper said afterward, “Lie after lie after lie. Pathetic.”
Hollywood stars such has Chris Evans, Josh Gad, Michael Moore and Emmy Rossum also criticized the president for reciting “come-to-life toilet spew.” Following his speech, Anderson Cooper even compared the president to “an obese turtle on his back, flailing in the hot sun, realizing his time is over.”
Watch Colbert’s speech, below.
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