Stephen Colbert opened up on his departure from “The Colbert Report” along with the rise of Donald Trump in an interview with “Face the Nation” moderator John Dickerson, set to air Sunday.
The Late Show host said the reason he killed his wildly-popular Comedy Central character — and show — was because he sensed the country no longer savored “constant divisiveness.”
“That’s one of the reasons I stopped the old show is that I had a sense where the country is,” he said. “I think people don’t really want constant divisiveness.”
“I really don’t think they want that. And that’s what I was aping. And I thought, ‘Ah, I can’t really drink that cup anymore. ‘Cause I don’t think people really want to hear it.'”
Colbert also weighed in on the rise of Donald Trump, whose appeal he respects — even if he doesn’t respect his message.
“There’s a populism to Trump that I found very appealing,” Colbert said. “The party elders would like him to go away, but the people have decided that he is not going to.”
“I may disagree with anything that he’s saying and think that his proposals are a little … well, more than a little shocking,” he continued, “but there is something really hopeful about the fact that, well, 36 percent of the likely voters want him so the people in the machine don’t get to say otherwise.
“That’s the one saving grace, I think, of his candidacy,” he concluded.
Colbert also hinted that he might’ve been wrong to declare Trump could never win the presidency.
“He knows that you have to appeal to the voter. And that’s why, I may be wrong — I made a big deal about there’s no way he’s gonna win.”