Stephen Colbert took a moment at the top of Tuesday’s episode of “The Late Show” to issue what he called “a formal apology” to Donald Trump’s son Eric… for not being the dumbest member of the Trump family after all.
“At this point, I would like to issue a formal. I’d like to apologize to Eric Trump,” Colbert said. “We always thought you were the dumb one. We were wrong.”
Colbert was obliquely referring to Eric’s older brother, Donald Jr., who early Tuesday morning stunned the country by tweeting out the complete email record between himself and U.K.-based music promoter and tabloid reporter Rob Goldstone that appeared to confirm he did in fact seek to enlist the assistance of the Russian government in his father’s campaign for president.
It was Goldstone who helped to broker the meeting last June between Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Trump Jr., the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort — a meeting that has become a major focus of inquiry since it was first disclosed last weekend by the New York Times.
In one email, Goldstone promised to provide information that “would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. … This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”
Trump Jr. replied within minutes, “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”
Trump first denied any such meeting or exchange took place, but began adjusting his story as increasingly damning additional details were leaked. However, his reveal Tuesday morning still came as a surprise, particularly to journalists covering the case.
Like Jared Yates Sexton, who expressed shock that after a year of chasing after the story, Trump simply confirmed it was true in a tweet.
“That’s right, fake news… you got scooped by Donnie Jr,” Colbert joked after showing some of Sexton’s tweeted reactions.
Watch the whole thing below.
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) July 12, 2017