Stephen Colbert found punchlines throughout Robert Mueller’s lengthy, often tight-lipped testimony before the House Judiciary Committee and House Intelligence Committee. On Wednesday’s Late Show, the comedian skewered every aspect of the hearing — from President Trump’s Twitter reaction to the former special counsel’s tendency to side-step questions unrelated to his report on Russian interference.
In the monologue, the host noted that Mueller — much to lawmakers’ frustration — avoided answering questions about several topics, including the so-called Steele Dossier and the opening of the FBI’s Russia investigation. “And since I cannot talk about anything the public is interested in,” Colbert cracked, mocking Mueller, “I also will not be addressing the behavior of Luke P. in The Bachelorette, the new collaboration between Jay-Z and Meek Mill and I defer any questions about Jane as Thor to Nick Fury and my colleagues at SHIELD.”
Later, Colbert played back Mueller’s depressing response to a question about a “hostile foreign power” influencing future elections. “I hope this is not the normal, but I fear it is,” the former special counsel said. “Oh, god. That’s bad,” Colbert deadpanned. “‘I hope it’s not the new normal, but I fear it is’ — that’s just chilling. It’s also the slogan for the new Taco Bell Steak Reaper Ranch Fries Burrito: ‘I hope it’s not the new normal, but I fear it is.”
Elsewhere on the show, Colbert sized up Trump’s response to the hearing — both on Twitter and to reporters. “Truth is a force of nature,” the president tweeted, to which the host fired back, “So is global warming, and you denied them both.” Speaking to journalists, Trump called Mueller’s performance “one of the worst … in the history of our country,” prompting Colbert to pull up a different type of “performance”: Trump singing in farmer attire on the 2005 Emmy Awards.
Colbert even incorporated the Mueller theme into the show’s cold open, editing himself into “C-Span 3” coverage of the hearing to fire surreal questions at the former FBI director. “Is it true that Donald Trump is the most corrupt and dishonest president of the past 100 years?” he asked Mueller, who responded with a simple, “Yes.” He followed, “Is Donald Trump the most corrupt president in all parallel universes, alternate dimensions and nether-realms.” Mueller, naturally, played it safe: “If it’s in the report, that is accurate.”