When MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace reminded Stephen Colbert that she used to work in Republican politics, the Late Show host replied, “I used to make fun of your boss a lot.”
Since serving as President George W. Bush’s White House communications director, Wallace has seen her party betray its ideals in favor of full-on fealty to Donald Trump. And nothing quite sums up that transformation like a recent clip from Fox News in which host Laura Ingraham and her former Bush administration colleague John Yoo suggest that “some people” might call Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman a traitor to America.
“Except those people aren’t chickenshit like the three of you and they know he passed a background check that the president’s daughter and son-in-law didn’t,” Wallace said in response on her MSNBC show. She waved her arms in protest as Colbert replayed the moment for his audience Wednesday night.
But as Wallace explained, she didn’t regret the sentiment of her comments, only her use of the word “chickenshit,” which delighted her young son a little too much.
“What has happened to your side?” Colbert asked her. “Because the Republicans, you know, I don’t always agree with what their policies might be, but they have made a very good run at acting on what they considered principle. Where is the principle now?”
“Look, my problem with that specifically and just the galling nature of that exchange was that, one, Laura Ingraham knows better,” Wallace said. “She’s a lot of things. Stupid isn’t one of them.”
Unconvinced, Colbert replied, “Eh.”
Speaking to the GOP’s performance at Wednesday’s impeachment hearings specifically, Wallace added, “If you watched the testimony today, they had seven different ways to have their souls kidnapped or hijacked... just ludicrous excuse after ludicrous excuse.”
“If I had any capacity for sympathy for my old party it would be so sad, it would be embarrassing. But I don’t,” she said. Asked by Colbert if she still considers herself a Republican, Wallace explained, “I’m still a registered Republican because I can barely renew my driver’s license, let alone go down and re-register. But I’m not a practicing Republican.”
Later, Wallace weighed in on the odd saga of George Conway, who was on-air with her deriding Trump and his Republican defenders earlier in the day, and his wife, Kellyanne Conway, whose job it is to defend the president. “What do you think is going on there?” Colbert asked.
“I have no idea,” she answered. “My parents think Donald Trump belongs on Mount Rushmore. I live with this sort of need to understand, and understand the people who have different views about Donald Trump. So I’ve got no judgment on that. I think if transparency is the disinfectant, they’re both sort of living their political views out loud.”