Stephen Colbert opened Thursday’s Late Show by recapping a week’s worth of whirlwind headlines on the fallout from President Trump‘s heavily criticized Finland meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“We know Trump is in Putin’s pocket, but the remains, ‘Why?'” the host asked. “There are only two possible answers: Either Putin has something on him, or he’s an idiot. And there’s plenty of proof on both sides. He does everything Putin asks for, but on the other hand, he can’t spell; he confuses HIV with HPV; he doesn’t understand why we fought the Civil War.”
The comedian started the monologue recapping the president’s summit with the Russian leader. “Putin was playing chess while Trump was eating his own checkers,” Colbert said of the duo’s respective tactics.
The host highlighted a Trump tweet from Thursday, in which the president blasted the “Fake News Media” and referenced an upcoming “second meeting” with Putin. “Second meeting?” Colbert exclaimed, after a staged spit take. “Because the first one ends so well. It’s just like the exciting sequel coming out this summer, Titanic 2!: Here We Go Again.'”
Colbert also jabbed at Trump by parodying his now-infamous “would/wouldn’t” “double negative” excuse following the summit. “I meant to say, ‘I’m inviting Vladimir Putin’t to Washington-don’t,” he said. “I want Putin for a sushi dinner; I want Cosby for the slumber party, Harvey Weinstein for movie night, and security will be handled by MS-13.”
He closed out the segment with a “presidential intervention,” framing his critiques like an emotional outburst.
“Sir, you’re here because we love our country very much, and you are in it,” he said. “And we need you to hear some things. When you attack NATO, I feel like I’m being attacked. And your friend Vladimir, he’s not really your friend, OK? You’re doing what he wants because you think it’s fine, but what you don’t realize is if you ever step out of line, he’s going to show the world you’re a big, dirty clown who loves the pee-pee. So instead of sucking up to dictators, we want you to find a safer hobby, like volcano parkour or shark dentistry or heroin. We’ve got a facility waiting for you; you can go there any time, and we’ll pay for it. Paul Manafort’s already there.”