Stephen Colbert taunted the Trump administration on Monday after The New York Times reported that the President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., agreed to meet with a Russian lawyer offering information that would hurt Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency.
“It’s not a smoking gun,” Colbert allowed, “but it is a gun meeting with a Russian bullet about their mutual desire to smoke.”
“Much ado about nothing,” he added, mocking the words Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer Alan Futerfas used in his client’s defense, “other than the fact that five White House advisors then confirmed that Don Jr. only took the meeting because the lawyer promised to provide damaging information on Hillary Clinton.”
Trump Jr. has presented multiple stories about his rendezvous with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, suggesting first that he did not know who the meeting was with or what it was about, and then saying it was mainly a discussion of adoption policy between Russia and the U.S..
Colbert enjoyed poking holes in these alibis. “So the excuse is: I tried to collude, but I didn’t get anything,” he said. “That’s like saying, ‘yes your honor, I broke into the house, but there was nothing worth stealing – so if you think about it, they were robbing me.'”
The Late Show host got one of his sharpest digs from another one of Trump Jr.’s excuses. “He was confused by Natalia Veselnitskaya, saying, ‘her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense,'” Colbert said, straight-faced. “So I assume she was immediately hired as a Trump speechwriter.”
As soon as news of Trump Jr.’s meeting broke over the weekend, the President’s son released a statement explaining that his brother-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign-manager Paul Manafort, who were also in attendance, did not know the subject of the meeting. Trump Jr. also sheltered his father, saying the President had no knowledge of the meeting’s existence.
Colbert posed a question to his audience. “So we’re supposed to believe that Donald Trump had no idea what was happening at the highest levels of his campaign?”
He paused and scrunched his face in thought.
“Yeah,” he decided. “That checks out.”
Everything we know about the members of Trump’s campaign who had contact with the Russian government. Watch here.