In the 24 hours following Rudy Giuliani’s fascinating interview with Sean Hannity, in which he contradicted Trump by saying that Donald Trump both knew about Michael Cohen paying off Stormy Daniels and that he reimbursed Cohen for the expense, the whole situation has been a tough one to process for seemingly everyone. So Stephen Colbert spent almost his entire monologue on “The Late Show” Thursday night trying to figure it out.
After opening with some jokes about Trump leading a National Day of Prayer event, Colbert moved into his latest edition of “Stormy Watch,” where he tackled “Hurricane Rudy.”
“Last night, he made landfall on Fox News, and Trump may have to declare himself a disaster area. Here’s the situation: remember Michael Cohen, the president’s personal lawyer? Cohen paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 right before the election. And both Trump and Cohen have denied that Trump knew anything about the payment or paid Cohen back in anyway. It was just an act of charity. That charity: the American Society for the Protection of Horny Billionaires,” Colbert joked. “They have both stressed for months that Trump never reimbursed him. So legal giant Rudy said this.”
“The Late Show” then played the clip from Giuliani’s appearance on Fox News, when Giuliani said that Cohen “funneled [the payment] through a law firm and then the president repaid it.”
“Rudy! You’re not helping! ‘I got this. Officer, you can’t accuse my buddy here of speeding, he was way too drunk to do that!'” Colbert joked to illustrate the absurdity of Giuliani’s comments. “I don’t understand why he would do this! I know not to do that. I’m not a lawyer and I know not to do that. Didn’t Rudy see Trump on Air Force One?”
Next up was the clip from April of Trump denying he knew anything about anything regarding the payment to Stormy Daniels.
“Between Cohen and Trump — one of these two men is lying, and it’s both of them,” Colbert said.
Later on in the segment, after running through several more Giuliani clips, Colbert came to the one where Giuliani made a comment about how damaging the Stormy Daniels situation would likely have been had it made news right before the election — one of the specific things you don’t want to say if you’re trying to convince everyone that there was no violation of campaign finance laws.
Guiliani’s quote: “It had nothing to do with the campaign, it was a personal matter. Personal reasons. It wasn’t for the campaign! However, imagine if that came out on October 15th, 2016, in the middle of the, you know, last debate with Hillary Clinton.”
“There’s something kind of admirable about being that bad of a liar,” Colbert said, before providing another illustration of just how guilty Giuliani’s comments make Trump look. “Your honor, I had no reason to burn down my warehouse, but I’ll tell you what, that insurance money saved my a–.”
After running through Giuliani’s seemingly incriminating comments on multiple Fox News shows, Colbert then took on Trump’s own tweets about the whole thing, in which he handwaved it all by saying those sorts of agreements are “very common among celebrities and people of wealth.”
“Hold on. I’m a celebrity and a ‘people of wealth’ and I don’t have any NDAs. And if I did, I couldn’t tell you because I paid myself off,” Colbert joked before making fun of a typo Trump made in another relevant tweet, in which he said the hush agreement was “a private agreement. Money from the campaign, or campaign contributions, played no roll in this transaction.”
“Yes, ‘roll’! He must have been hungry when he typed this. ‘Look, there was no roll, no biscuit, not even cornbread. Cornbread’s usually free. No roll. My crimes are gluten-free’ ” Colbert said.
“Trump is claiming that he paid Cohen a monthly fee to hush up all the affairs he wasn’t having,” Colbert continued. “So that means anyone can just say they had an affair with Donald Trump and leave with 130 grand? In that case: I had sex with Donald Trump.”
You can watch all of Colbert’s monologue from Thursday night’s episode of “The Late Show” in the video embedded at the top of this post.