The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Screenshot: CBS)

One day after it took Donald Trump two days to (sort of) condemn the white supremacists who rallied in Charlottesville (and killed a woman), one might think that the guy ousted White House communications laughingstock Anthony Scaramucci once called “the most media-savvy person of our times” would lay low. After all, the constant barrage of racist, horrible horseshit expelled from the Trump administration generally follows a “say something horrible/ride the outrage/say something differently horrible to tire everyone out” cycle. But, as Stephen Colbert laid out in his Late Show monologue, Trump went rogue at a Trump Tower presser on Tuesday. In this case, going rogue meant ignoring the carefully written (in absurdly huge type) equivocal rehash of his Monday remarks in favor of doubling all the way down on his widely reviled “blame on many sides” assessment of a debate where, as Colbert terms it, “one side hates minorities, the other side hates people who hate minorities.”

After last night’s shocked condemnation of Trump’s Monday afternoon Nazi apologism (see also Seth Meyers’ powerful statement on last night’s Late Night), Colbert seemed to be reacting with incredulous gallows glee at just how disastrous and off-the-charts horrific Trump’s half-bright, Breitbart-talking-points history lesson and blame-sharing press conference went. Noting the combative swagger of a person digging himself deeper and deeper on national television, Colbert answered Trump’s defiant riposte that the questioning reporters can’t be sure of what really happened in that comprehensively documented, torch-wielding, murderous, Nazi-saluting white supremacist rally with a grinning, “The only thing I’m doubting right now is whether you’re gonna be president by Friday.”


Colbert similarly took apart every aspect of Trump’s catastrophically, appallingly pro-Nazi screed. Noting that Trump—who was only supposed to talk briefly and not take questions—was echoing white nationalist advisor Steve Bannon while simultaneously and obviously distancing himself from him, Colbert termed Trump’s unprompted but hesitant denial of Bannon’s racism as “a vote of… something.” Trump’s defense of the Nazis’ proper marching permits, the on-camera frozen expression of supposed voice of reason Chief of Staff John Kelly as Trump kept spouting nonsense, Trump’s Twitter-simplistic false equivalency about statues of Confederate figures and George Washington—as Colbert put it, the whole grotesque spectacle played like “a guy who’s suspiciously worried that racist presidents don’t get statues any more.”