Christmas came early for Stephen Colbert on Monday when the Justice Department’s inspector general released his report on the FBI’s 2016 investigation into the Trump campaign and found no evidence of political bias.
“See for months now, we’ve been talking about Trump and Ukraine, so it’s easy to forget about Trump and Russia,” the Late Show host began. He explained that the president has insisted that the Russia probe started “only because of anti-Trump bias in the FBI,” but now the inspector general has concluded there was “sufficient evidence” to investigate his campaign for possible collusion.
“There it is! End of story! Truth wins!” Colbert declares. “This wasn’t an overthrow of the government. This wasn’t even an attempted overthrow and nobody was ‘in on it.’”
With that, he cut to President Trump telling reporters, after the report’s release, “This was an overthrow of government. This was an attempted overthrow and a lot of people were in on it.”
Colbert proceeded to debunk that notion by explaining that the so-called Deep State couldn’t have been trying to “overthrow” the Trump government because when they started the investigation in July 2016, President Obama was still in office.
“That’s how deep this goes,” he said, mimicking Trump. “They were trying to overthrow the government before I was even it. That way, Barack Obama would no longer be in office to graciously allow a peaceful transition of power.”
The Late Show host urged viewers to “keep in mind that nothing Trump said today when he talked about the report is actually in the report,” adding, “He is, once again, just naming an alternate reality he wants to exist.”
Turning more serious, Colbert suggested that this presidential behavior is harder to joke about than usual and even “really dangerous.” If Trump can make up any reality he wants, the host explained, who’s to say he won’t declare himself the winner of the 2020 election even if he loses?
“Well, two can play at that game, sir,” Colbert said before turning to the camera and asking viewers, “Hey, did you hear what’s in the IG report? It’s much worse than any of us imagined! Trump confessed to colluding with the Russians to influence the 2020 election and stopping the Golden Globes from nominating any women for Best Director.”