Stephen Colbert brought all 448 pages of the Mueller report on stage for his monologue Thursday night.
“You know how for a couple of years you’ve been thinking, ‘There’s probably bad stuff in the Mueller report that makes Donald Trump look terrible?’” the Late Show host asked. “But then three weeks ago, Attorney General Bill Barr put out his four-page valentine to Donald Trump, and then you thought, ‘Maybe I’m crazy?’ Well, if you just returned to this dimension from the phantom zone, today the Mueller report was released. And I’m here to tell you, you’re not crazy.”
Colbert had so much to say about the day’s big news that he actually delivered two full monologues about it, with a commercial break in between. And he began with the attorney general’s “one-man no collusion spectacular” press conference, which prompted numerous pundits—including one from Fox News—to say that Barr was acting more like Trump’s personal attorney than the head of the country’s Justice Department.
“That’s not fair,” Colbert replied. “If Bill Barr were the president’s attorney, he’d be in prison right now.”
As for Barr’s assertion that Trump’s attempted obstruction of justice could be forgiven because he was “frustrated” by the special counsel probe, the host asked, “Wait, when did feelings become a get-out-of-jail-free card? ‘Sure, my client’s actions might look like arson, but may I remind you, he was feeling tense, and who doesn’t relax in front of a roaring fire?’”
“And if you needed any more proof that this was just a thinly disguised, coordinated campaign event,” the host added, “the instant Barr’s press conference ended Trump tweeted this Game of Thrones-themed image saying, ‘No collusion. No obstruction. For the haters and the radical left Democrats—Game Over.’”
“That picture, by the way, is Trump posing next to all the smoke that William Barr just blew up his ass,” Colbert joked.
And Colbert seemed genuinely surprised that Barr did not redact the portion of the Mueller report in which Trump reacted to the appointment of the special counsel by declaring, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my presidency. I’m fucked.”
“That’s actually what I said at the beginning of your presidency,” Colbert said. “And I’m guessing that’s not how an innocent person reacts.” He imagined someone whose spouse suspects them of cheating and instantly replies, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of our marriage. I’m fucked.”