This week, Samantha Bee said she did not understand how anyone who pays attention to the news could still be “shocked” by President Donald Trump’s affection for Vladimir Putin. And yet, somehow, her old Daily Show colleague Stephen Colbert has retained that ability.
“It’s hard to imagine you could be this shocked every day by the Trump administration. I mean, freshly shocked,” the Late Show host said. “I think it’s because every day they attach the electrodes to a different part of us.”
As Colbert explained, ever since the president’s summit with Putin in Helsinki, “Everybody around Trump has spent this entire week trying to put distance between Trump and Putin, so this whole sordid thing can be behind us and the administration can go back to the people’s business of caging toddlers.”
The moment that “shocked” Colbert today was when Trump announced an upcoming “second meeting” with the Russian president. “Second meeting?!” he asked in disbelief. “Because the first one went so well.” He asked, “Where would he even meet with a universally-condemned war criminal strongman who personally ordered the attack on our election?”
Later, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that Trump had instructed his National Security Advisor John Bolton to invite Putin to a meeting in Washington.
“He’s inviting him to Washington!” Colbert exclaimed. “Nothing could have gone worse than your meeting in Helsinki. It embarrassed our country. It enraged our allies. It strongly reinforced the idea that Putin’s got something on you. And it’s the first time your party turned against you even a little.” Then, he sang, “So, let’s collude it again, like we did last summer.”
When Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats learned about the invitation while on stage at the Aspen Security Forum, his reaction was not all that different from Colbert’s. “Say that again?” he asked MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
“Now, Mr. President, you just found the strength to admit that Putin is personally responsible for attacking our election,” Colbert said. “So let’s invite him to the White House.” Imitating Trump, he added, “I want Putin for a sushi dinner, Cosby for the slumber party, Harvey Weinstein for movie night, and security will be handled by MS-13. Make it happen.”