“Beautiful day here in New York—unless you’re Trump attorney and man who looks like cigarettes smell, Michael Cohen,” said Stephen Colbert.
The Late Show host opened his monologue Wednesday night with a broadside against the embattled Trump fixer, who’s currently under investigation for, among other things, his $130,000 hush payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in the final weeks of the presidential election—a payoff that many experts consider a violation of campaign-finance laws.
Colbert continued, “Because last night, Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, stormed the internet with what appeared to be Michael Cohen’s bank statements and said Cohen was selling access to the president of the United States. Man, if only Robert Mueller could afford that.”
Avenatti, who’s been a regular on virtually every major cable-news channel not named “Fox News” over the past seven weeks, tweeted out a link to bank statements that are said to belong to Essential Consultants LLC, the shell company that Cohen established to pay Daniels for her silence about an alleged extramarital affair with then-candidate Trump. The statement also revealed that Cohen received $500,000—“or as Donald Trump calls it: three-and-a-half porn stars,” joked Colbert—from a firm linked to sanctioned Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, a claim that was first confirmed by The Daily Beast.
But wait, there was more. “Avenatti also claims that Cohen received payments from AT&T totaling $200,000 while their merger with Time Warner was pending before the Trump Justice Department. Now that’s a huge accusation. You obviously can’t say that without backing it up with something—like AT&T admitting that they did it,” said Colbert.
Indeed, AT&T acknowledged in a statement to The New York Times that “Essential Consulting was one of several firms we engaged in early 2017 to provide insights into understanding the new administration.”
Cue Colbert: “You paid for insights into this administration? He’s a horny old racist who likes cheeseburgers more than his children. $200,000, please!”
In addition to AT&T, Cohen received money from the global pharmaceutical giant Novartis.
“Side effects of taking money from Novartis may include headache, nausea, and extended jail time,” said Colbert.