Stephen Colbert returned from his break to celebrate America on Monday to find out that — shockingly — “everybody’s still talking about Russia.”
“But here’s the thing,” the Late Show host said in his opening monologue. “There is no evidence of collusion, or even the desire to collude with the Russians, by anyone in the Trump campaign… is something that was true 48 hours ago.”
Colbert was referring to The New York Times' bombshell report over the weekend that revealed a previously undisclosed meeting in Trump Tower with a lawyer who has strong connections to the Kremlin who allegedly offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump Jr.
“Wow,” Colbert said. “You could knock me over with whatever you use to knock someone over who isn’t the least bit surprised.” He added, “Everything you think is with this family turns out to be.” This may not be a “smoking gun,” Colbert said, “but it is a gun meeting with a Russian bullet about their mutual desire to smoke. Pretty damning!”
In response to the story, Trump Jr. has offered varying explanations about why he was meeting with the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, on June 9th of last year, just two days after Clinton secured the Democratic nomination. First, he said the meeting was solely about “the adoption of Russian children” — “Yes, I think they were talking about the adoption of little Jimmy Kislyak,” Colbert joked. Only later did he admit that Veselnitskaya had promised him dirt on Clinton.
“So, like all the most innocent people, Don Jr. offered a second explanation,” Colbert said, before mocking the first son’s insistence that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner knew nothing about the real reason for the meeting.
“We’re supposed to believe that during the height of the presidential campaign, on the advice of a guy he met at the Miss Universe pageant, Don Jr. said, ‘Hey Jared, Paul, I know you guys are a little busy right now, but I need you to come to a meeting. With who? I don’t know. About what? I’m not telling you.”