Right before Stephen Colbert taped his Late Show monologue on Thursday, the first excerpts from former FBI Director James Comey's new book started leaking, and one passage caught Colbert's eye — Comey's claim that President Trump was obsessed with the salacious parts of the Russia dossier, worried that there was "even a 1 percent chance" Melania Trump might believe the rumors. "Yes, it would bother him, because she'd be off by about 99 percent," Colbert joked. "Oh, come on! Sanctimonious much, James Comey? Not everyone's lucky enough to be in one of those rare, fairy tale marriages with a 100 percent no-hooker-pee-pee guarantee!"
That brought Trump to the latest "catch and kill" story about the National Enquirer. On Thursday afternoon, a former doorman at Trump Tower confirmed the unsubstantiated, caught-and-killed story that he "was instructed not to criticize President Trump's former housekeeper due to a prior relationship she had with President Trump which produced a child," Colbert read. "Okay, it's official: There is now a housekeeper I feel worse for than the one at that Russian hotel."
The Late Show imagined what other secrets the Trump Tower doorman might be keeping.
Trump reportedly still wants to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but Stephen Bannon actually has a plan to save Trump from Mueller, and Colbert walked through some steps: Fire lawyer Ty Cobb, then exert executive privilege "immediately and retroactively" on everything handed over to Mueller's team. "Fair enough," Colbert offered, "as long as America gets to change our vote retroactively."
Colbert wrapped up with a Washington Post report on how the White House is coping with an impulsive and emboldened Trump, sympathizing with the West Wing aide who went through the new morning routine — "Oh, my God, Trump Tower is on fire. Oh, my God, they raided Michael Cohen's office. Oh, my God, we're going to bomb Syria" — then singing a new, Trump-centric version of "My Way." Watch below. Peter Weber
If you're Trump's alleged love child, Trevor Noah has bad news for you, but Jimmy Kimmel sees good fortune
On Thursday we learned that the National Enquirer paid President Trump's former doorman $30,000 during the election for his tale about an alleged love child Trump had with his housekeeper, then killed the story. "Trump might have a secret kid?" Trevor Noah asked on Thursday's Daily Show. "I bet everyone who doesn't know their father right now is panicking. They're phoning their moms, like: 'Tell me it wasn't him, mom, tell me it wasn't him! Tell me it was a crackhead.'"
"Everyone in this story is talking about whether these payoffs constitute illegal campaign contributions — that's why it's big news — but for me, there's a bigger story here," Noah said: "You realize if you were born in the 1980s, you might be Donald Trump's child. Yeah, you could be in line to inherit billions of dollars ... in debt." He ended on Mark Zuckerberg's testimony to Congress, rolling his eyes at Zuckerberg's feigned ignorance of how Facebook works but celebrating that a man was finally apologizing for something other than sexual harassment.
The Trump love child story is probably "too good to be true," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. "But if Trump did have a secret love child with an employee in the '80s, I'm going to guess that the love child is Eric, and that employee is none other than Gary Busey." The joke makes more sense with Kimmel's photo. "But if the story is true, there could be another Trump kid out there who would be an adult right now, which is crazy to think about." Kimmel's doorman, "Curtis," didn't think it was so crazy to pay the doorman to keep quiet, and he tried out a couple of blackmail bids. Kimmel ended with a fake ad in which Michael Cohen, Trump's fixer, openly hawks his payout services, and it all ties back to the love-child story. Watch below. Peter Weber
Stephen Colbert joked on Monday's Late Show that he considered not returning from last week's vacation "because, uh, everything," but he didn't want to miss new National Security Adviser John Bolton's first day of work.
Colbert then turned to the latest developments in the Stormy Daniels saga, joking that "future generations will learn all about it in the Trump Presidential Library's adult section." But the payoff to Daniels by Trump's longtime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen landed in the news Monday with an FBI raid on Cohen's office and home. Raiding a lawyer's office is tricky, given attorney-client privilege, so the Justice Department sends out a team of lawyers to review material before prosecutors can look at it. Colbert had a good, mostly family-friendly laugh at the name of these teams.
"'Taint team' — gotta take that to a taint team, because it t'ain't ethical and it t'ain't legal," he joked. "By the way, fun fact: Taint Team, one of Stormy Daniels' best movies." Still, Colbert added, "all hope isn't lost for Michael Cohen — I'm sure the FBI will keep this whole thing quiet for $130,000."
"Meanwhile, the chaos continues at the White House," Colbert said, starting with the apparent "imminent firing" of Chief of Staff John Kelly. Trump took to Twitter over the weekend to accuse The Washington Post of lying about a verbal brawl he reportedly had with Kelly, saying the Post's reporting is "like a poorly written novel." Colbert agreed: "Just look at the lurid, unbelievable fantasy novel the Post has been reporting for the last year and a half: Reality TV host becomes president with the help of an evil cabal of Facebook and Russians while he's sued by the porn star he had sex with? It's all in John Le Carré's classic novel, Tinkle, Traitor, Stormy, Spy." Watch below. Peter Weber
"This has been a week of [President] Trump indulging his various obsessions," Seth Meyers said, and he took a look at two of those on Wednesday's Late Night: the border, and Amazon. Trump has been railing against a "caravan" of Honduran refugees heading toward the U.S., arguing that the U.S. essentially doesn't have a southern border because, he said, former President Barack Obama instituted "catch and release." "That's right, it's called catch and release — or as Trump used to call it, marriage," Meyers joked.
Now, Trump is sending "the military" to "guard" the border. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is "already planning your dumb military parade, and now you want him to guard the border?" Meyer asked. "Why don't you just combine the two and have the parade along the Mexican border? Think about it: Have you ever tried to cross the street during a parade?" Trump settled on ordering the National Guard down to watch the border, but he's openly pining for a U.S.-Mexico DMZ.
Trump is also obsessed with taking down Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, and he's apparently under the mistaken impression that the U.S. Postal Service loses money from Amazon. "Trump's behavior is that of a petulant autocrat impulsively attacking his enemies by lying about them, but here's the thing," Meyers said: "Despite his rhetoric, his own government is actually helping Amazon," from the big tax cut to allowing the Pentagon to purchase all commercial items through Amazon.
Meyers was conflicted about the military shopping at the retailer that sells Alexa, with her random evil laughs, but he was pretty sure Republicans wouldn't be happy if Obama had attacked a private company. "For years, Republicans spun a wild fantasy about an imperial president interfering in the free marketplace by picking winners and losers, and now they've got a president who is actually doing that, and their silence is deafening," he said. Watch below. Peter Weber
"You up to date on Trump vs. Biden?" Jimmy Kimmel asked on Thursday's Kimmel Live. If you aren't, he walked through former Vice President Joe Biden's claim that he would have "beat the hell" out of Trump in high school for disrespecting women and President Trump tweeting back his fantasy of beating up Biden and making him cry. "This is what it's come to, though: Two old men arguing over who could beat the other one up," Kimmel said, before speculating about who would actually win such a fight back in high school.
"Fortunately, for the good of all of us and our entertainment, Trump and Biden have decided to put the talk aside and settle this man-to-man," Kimmel said, rolling a fake preview of the fight — POTUS vs. JOETUS, live on C-SPAN pay per view. "They really should do that — all proceeds to charity, whoever wins gets to be president," he said, then staged a press conference about the idea with Sarah Knucklebee Sanders, the handy White House press secretary.
"This is just what America needs: The Thrilla in Vanilla," Seth Meyers said on Late Night, rolling his eyes at the idea of the 71-year-old Trump and 75-year-old Biden throwing down. "The last time I saw two old dudes going at it like that, my local Walmart was down to its last bottle of prune juice," he joked. "This whole ordeal is embarrassing not only because it degrades our political discourse but also because it would never happen. Can you imagine these two actually fighting?" He gave it a shot.
Also, "shame on Joe Biden," Meyers said. "We all know you want to fight Donald Trump. But when it comes time for someone to fight Donald Trump, I'm sorry, we're just not going to pick you — we're gonna pick Ronda Rousey." He turned to Trump's legal battles, and you can watch that below. Peter Weber
President Trump is apparently furious about reports that he was warned to not congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin about his re-election, right before he congratulated Putin, Jimmy Kimmel said on Wednesday's Kimmel Live. "Some White House staffers believe the leak was a deliberate attempt to embarrass the president — as if he needs any help with that — but the part of the story I love, and I don't even know if he realizes this: The fact that we know he's mad about the leak is because someone leaked his reaction to the leak, which is a lot of leaks. It might be time for this White House to start wearing Depends." Kimmel mocked up a chart showing Trump from "perturbed" to his current state, "furious," and it wasn't pretty.
Trump was also clearly angry on Wednesday about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation — or as he spelled it on Twitter Wednesday morning, "Special Council." "They still haven't corrected the spelling of 'counsel' — I guess he wants to show his base that he won't be swayed by a bunch of left-wing, liberal dictionaries," Kimmel joked. "And I know a lot of people can't spell, but a lot of people aren't president, and the fact is, having a leader who cannot spell is potentially dangerous." Lunch-launch?
"But typos and leaks should be the least of Trump's worries today," Kimmel said. "What he should be worried about is all the renewed interest in his alleged sexual dalliances. Like a porno Gremlin, Stormy Daniels has now multiplied and there are at least three women now actively pursuing legal action in cases involving Donald Trump." Or, well, at least two. Watch below. Peter Weber
President Trump had some goofy exchanges with Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Thursday, but "it was at least a relief to see Trump making nice with an ally," Seth Meyers said on Thursday's Late Night. Audio surfaced on Thursday of Trump admitting to "outright lying to Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, about the U.S.'s trade relationship with Canada," Meyers said, playing the tape. Bragging about making up fake facts was bad, but "in fairness, 'I lied because I'm stupid' is the truest thing Trump has ever said," he added, with the quote actually more of a paraphrase.
"Trump's admission that he just makes stuff up comes amid an unprecedented level of turmoil in his White House," already not the most stable work environment, Meyers pointed out. Trump is remaking his Cabinet, one adviser said, because he's "finally realizing he is the president," and that's "terrifying," Meyers said. "That's like in Jurassic Park when the velociraptors figured out how to open doors." He ran through some of Trump's new picks, cable TV pundit Larry Kudlow and Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo, then returned to the ousters. "If Trump really is firing people he doesn't like, that's very troubling — there's already speculation that he might try to fire [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller just as the Russia probe heats up," Meyers said, especially now that Mueller is going after Trump's business. He had two words for Mueller: Hurry up. Watch below. Peter Weber
President Trump went to Moon Township, Pennsylvania, over the weekend, ostensibly to campaign for House candidate Rick Saccone, Stephen Colbert said on Monday's Late Show. It was pretty wild. "Who wants to jump aboard the crazy train?" Colbert said, in Trump voice. And after a brief endorsement, it was all about Trump, one way or another.
Trump rolled out his 2020 tagline, fantasized about beating Oprah, and insulted NBC's Chuck Todd. "Now, Chuck was a little miffed, so yesterday he asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin whether this name-calling was acceptable behavior," Colbert said, and he broke out a wicked Mnuchin impersonation to mock the treasury secretary's if-the-president-does-it-it's-okay response. Trump also made fun of what he thinks a "normal" president would be like, then argued that what he has to do is harder. "Wait, he has to do this?" Colbert asked. "Does he think acting like a buffoon is mandatory? Is this some sort of Speed situation? Somebody's strapped a bomb to the country and if the president's IQ goes above 55, America explodes?"
Trump also defended North Korea's leader. "Don't boo Kim Jong Un," Colbert said in Trump voice. "He's just a murderous dictator who fed his own uncle to dogs — it's not like he's Oprah or Chuck Todd or anything." Still, the Pennsylvania race "is really important to Trump, so today he pulled out the small guns," sending Don Jr. up to tour a candy factory with Saccone. "Don Jr. felt very comfortable in the chocolate factory because he's half Oompa-Loompa on his father's side," Colbert quipped. Watch below. Peter Weber