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Elizabeth Warren tells Stephen Colbert the Mueller report needs to come out, Donald Trump to go out

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Stephen Colbert
Screenshot: The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

It was an abrupt gear shift for late-night comedians on Monday, as the non-release of the long-awaited Mueller report into whether Donald Trump and his campaign conspired with Russia to steal an election and then obstructed all attempts to find out about that left Trump and the easily placated gloating. As Colbert noted in his monologue, the fact that Republicans are united in both believing that the report exonerates Trump, and that nobody, ever, needs to see the actual report with all that juicy, iron-clad proof that Trump is exonerated is a bit of a tip-off that the fix is in. Oh, also since new Attorney General William Barr (a career cover-upper for the powerful) essentially auditioned for the job by presenting an unsolicited opinion prior to his hiring that there was no earthly way Donald Trump could ever, under any circumstances, be convicted of obstruction of justice. Funny, that.

But we’re not here to talk about the farcical process by which a multiply accused president is allowed to appoint the person who decides if he will be prosecuted, and the impending death of the very concept of American justice. Nope, Colbert’s first guest was Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts senator, presidential candidate, and person who’d rather talk about sweeping that entire mess out of office than dwell on whether, say, it’s kind of damning that even Donald Trump’s own AG—chosen specifically to clear Donald Trump—couldn’t avoid noting that Muller’s report “does not exonerate” Donald Trump. (“Complete exoneration!”—Donald Trump, not connected to reality.) Warren did tell Colbert that, of course, the actual Mueller report should be released to the public, calling out the oddity that Trump supporters, for some reason, don’t want the full details of a “complete exoneration” exposed for all the world to see. “If we don’t see it, then millions of people around this country are gonna keep asking, ‘What’s in it that nobody wants us to see?’”

Moving past that whole unfolding shitshow, Warren told Colbert that ideas are what are going to save America from said shitshow, much more than the suspiciously hidden evidence of one single report. Asked if her purple jacket was a symbol of the need for red-blue unity, Warren said, simply, “No,” before whipping up the Colbert crowd with some of those ideas. (A 2 percent tax on the super-wealthy to fund widely beneficial policies for the rest of the country was a big winner.) After Colbert noted how many of Warren’s ideas (like not giving a trillion dollar tax break to those super-wealthy and, instead, funding healthcare, student debt forgiveness, and lowering prescription drug prices) have become part of the wider Democratic platform at this point, Warren said it’s just common sense. “It’s about running against somebody who is making the government work better for a thinner, and thinner, and thinner slice at the top and leaving everyone else behind,” exhorted Warren, concluding by stating that, whether she’s the eventual nominee or not, it’s vital that America “never elect[s] a man like Donald Trump again in our life.”

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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.