“The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert dissected the Trump administration's denials about communications with Russians related to the 2016 presidential campaign.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday that he would recuse himself from any investigation related to the campaign after controversy over allegations that the Russians interfered in the election.
“Big news today out of the Kremlin — I'm sorry, I misread that: White House,” Colbert said in jest during the show Thursday night. “You know how there's all this smoke about the idea that Trump and his folks colluded with the Russians to influence the election, and the Trump people are saying, 'There's nothing to see here'? Well I spy with my little eye the attorney general of the United States.”
Sessions's announcement followed a Washington Post report that revealed that despite Sessions's claims during his confirmation hearing that he had not had communications with the Russians, he had met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak twice during the campaign. In January, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) asked him how he would handle the situation should he discover that anyone on President Trump's team had communicated with the Russians during that time. “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign, and I did not have communications with the Russians,” was his reply.
“Franken didn't even ask if you were involved! Why did you volunteer to lie?” Colbert said Thursday night.
A spokesman for Sessions said that he did not meet with Kislyak as a Trump supporter, but rather in his capacity as a member of the Armed Services Committee.
Seth Meyers also took jabs at the administration, pointing out that the recent blow came just days after Trump's seemingly successful address to Congress.
“Obviously, Donald Trump got off to a rough start as president, but he finally had what many pundits considered a good day on Tuesday with his first address to Congress,” Meyers said Thursday on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” “The speech got glowing reviews from the media and Trump was finally able to reset the narrative of his presidency. And you know what? I have been hard on him, but I think it's only fair that we take a minute to celebrate. In fact, I got some balloons right here and I'm going to start blowing them up to celebrate the fact that Trump finally has everything under control.”
While Meyers was blowing up a balloon, he cut to news clips about reports that Sessions had met with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. but failed to disclose that.
Then when the camera cut back to Meyers, he was dejectedly letting all the air escape from the balloon.
Meyers also spoke about Trump's contradictory statements in recent years in response to questions about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In a montage of video clips, Trump was seen saying:
“I have no relationship with Putin.”
“I do have a relationship.”
“I have nothing to do with Putin. I've never spoken to him.”
“I spoke indirectly and directly with President Putin who could not have been nicer.”
“I have nothing to do with Russia. I told you, I have no deals there.”
“I was in Moscow a couple of months ago. I own the Miss Universe pageant.”
“I don't know Putin. I have no idea. I've never met Putin. This is not my best friend.”
“They treated me so great. Putin even sent me a present. Beautiful present with a beautiful note.”
Both hosts noted that Congress is investigating the Russia situation.
“On a bipartisan basis, we will fully investigate all the evidence we collect and follow that evidence wherever it leads,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said in a statement this week.
“Things are getting serious because the White House staff has been told to preserve all Russia-related materials,” Colbert said. “So, you hear that Mr. President? Do not get that mattress steam-cleaned yet.”