On Tuesday night, the big news was President Donald Trump comparing the size of his nuclear “button” to that of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un—even though the button on Trump’s desk does not order a nuclear strike, but by his own admission orders a valet to bring him a Diet Coke.
You see, the president is rumored to drink as many as 12 Diet Cokes a day, even though he once said of the popular sugary beverage, “I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke” and also “Lots of response to my comment on Diet Coke—let’s face it, it doesn’t work-—just makes you hungry.”
But that was Tuesday.
By Wednesday, the third day of 2018, we learned of a dishy new book by noted stenographer Michael Wolff. An excerpt of Fire and Fury was published in New York magazine and revealed—among other things—that Donald Trump didn’t want to be president.
“He didn’t want him to win,” cracked Stephen Colbert. “There’s a name for that: the majority of American voters.”
The Late Show host dedicated the lion’s share of his Wednesday night monologue to the various Fire and Fury excerpts floating around the internet—although it should be noted that its author, Michael Wolff, has been accused of suspect journalistic practices in the past, and the book itself contains a lengthy author’s note that raises many more questions than it answers.
“Much to the annoyance of Wolff’s critics, the scenes in [Wolff’s] columns aren’t re-created so much as created—springing from Wolff’s imagination rather than from actual knowledge of events,” wrote Michelle Cottle in a 2004 profile of Wolff for The New Republic.
Colbert, however, couldn’t get enough of the juicy gossip—like the bit where, when Bannon came on board as campaign CEO in August, he reportedly called it the “broke-dick” campaign; or the time “[a campaign staffer] was sent to explain the Constitution to the candidate.”
“Nobody in Trump’s circle seemed to like him very much,” offered Colbert.
One of these people, it seems, was right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch, owner of the pro-Trump network Fox News.
The book alleges that, after a December 2016 meeting with Silicon Valley executives about H-1B visas, Trump called Murdoch, who asked how the meeting went. After Trump rambled through his explanation, Wolff claims that Murdoch got off the phone and uttered, “What a fucking idiot.”
Cue Colbert: “Two things, Mr. Murdoch: One, you’re an Australian. You have no right to talk about our president that way. And two, is Australia currently accepting applications? Because I’ve heard our president is a fucking idiot.”
Also in Wolff’s book is a scene where Bannon unloads on Donald Trump Jr. for his infamous Trump Tower meeting with the Russians. “Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad shit, and I happen to think it’s all of that, you should have called the FBI immediately,” Bannon told Don Jr., according to Wolff.
Of course, Don Jr. wasn’t alone at that Trump Tower meeting—he was reportedly joined by then campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump’s son-in-law/strategist Jared Kushner.
“So he thinks [Paul] Manafort, Don Jr., and [Jared] Kushner did something treasonous, unpatriotic, and bad shit. Coincidentally, those are also their Secret Service code names,” joked Colbert.
Bannon allegedly also said of Don Jr.’s testimony before Robert Mueller, “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.”
“Sure are,” Colbert agreed, before throwing to footage of an egg sizzling on a skillet.