Stephen Colbert spent another monologue on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” Wednesday ripping Donald Trump for his comments in Helsinki siding with Russia against the United States — but expanded his mockery to include the rest of Trump’s party, as well.
“A lot of people have been upset since Helsinki, where Donald Trump did not put America first,” Colbert said. “He did not say, ‘Hey Putin, I know you messed with our election, and if you do it again we’re gonna kick your ass.’ Instead, Donald Trump blamed America and sucked up to Putin.”
Colbert played a clip from the press conference Monday in Helsinki, which followed a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. When asked about whether Trump rebuked Putin for interference and hacking in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, something the U.S. intelligence committee agrees Russia did, Trump said he believed Putin’s denials over his own government.
“My people came to me, they said they think it’s Russia,” Trump said in the clip. “I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
“You can understand why people are upset,” Colbert joked. “That’s like Paul Revere saying, ‘The British are coming, the British are coming! This way, British, follow me, we’ll get ‘em while they’re sleeping!'”
On Tuesday, Trump made a statement to reporters claiming that he misspoke during that sentence, and meant to say, “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be (Russia)” instead of, “I don’t see any reason why it would be (Russia).”
“Okay, all good,” Colbert said after playing the clip of Trump’s correction. “I see no reason why you would be a traitor. I’m sorry, wouldn’t.”
He also played another clip from the press conference, showing that the “would/wouldn’t” sentence wasn’t the only statement Trump made during the press conference that sounded like he was taking Russia’s side over that of the United States.
While Colbert had a lot of jokes at Trump’s expense, the host of “The Late Show” also noted that, despite Trump’s weak attempt to fix his comments, there were plenty of Republicans willing to go along with the “would/wouldn’t” explanation.
“Trump’s walkback yesterday was more of a shamble, and you’d have to be some kind of idiot to buy it,” Colbert said. “Jimmy, roll the idiots.”
That led to a clip of Republicans saying they believed that Trump misspoke, with one saying he was willing to take the president at his word.
The explanation for Republicans’ refusal to hold Trump accountable is cowardice, Colbert went on.
“There’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for why Republican leaders won’t stick up for democracy — they’re scared,” he said. “According to one GOP strategist, ‘I’m furious Republicans are cowardly about Trump. But here is what they say in private: Trump is a disgrace, I give fiery press conference tomorrow saying that, nothing changes, Trump remains nuts and remains president, a nut beats me in the next primary. So how does my political suicide help?'”
Colbert called to mind “Braveheart,” a movie about the Scottish fighting British oppression despite England’s massive military superiority, to goof on Republicans’ fear of Trump.
“Aw, reminds me of the famous, moving speech from ‘Braveheart’,” Colbert went on, putting on a bad Scottish accent. “‘They may take our lives, but — wait, they may take our lives? But how does that help anyone? Let’s be English!'”