Stephen Colbert talks “the blatantly obvious motive” on the James Comey firing


Nancy Drew references, a fake hedge, and even a trucker hat all helped Stephen Colbert explain the James Come firing on The Late Show last night.

Do you remember how in the 2000s, Ashton Kutcher, the then-celebrity king of the trucker-style hats, had a show called Punk’d? Where he’d go around and prank other celebrities? Stephen Colbert, or his writing staff, apparently remembers this artifact of a simpler time.

But, of course, with the firing of James Comey still fresh in everyone’s mind, Colbert did a little rebranding. You can see last night’s monologue below. It’s all clean — no censored words at all here. There is one slightly gross moment involving rolling eyeballs:

Pulling Out the Hat

We happen to agree that pulling out the hat was a nice touch. Anyway, let’s get to Colbert’s quoted texts. He went heavy on the New York Times‘ work. The “Updates and Reactions” piece which mentions that Comey thought someone was playing a joke on him when he saw the news he’d been fired also mentions a “special counsel.” A linked piece from there notes that some Republicans have joined in with Colbert in calling for a special prosecutor, including former presidential candidate Senator John McCain.

The Times also broke down Rod Rosenstein’s memo about the Comey firing; the piece also has access to other documents, including the firing letter itself. Finally, yes, Comey did ask for additional funding; here’s the Times‘ work on it.

Finally, Politico’s piece going behind the scenes emphasizes the anger that reportedly motivated the firing — and afterward due to the fallout.

As of this writing, the Richard Nixon Library tweet Colbert mentions has over 55,000 likes and 39,000 retweets.

This morning, the acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, is actually testifying before the Senate. The Washington Post is carrying it live. Incidentally, Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina is one of the Republicans who spoke out about Comey’s firing.

Next: Colbert tries to process Comey news

Depending on what is said, it may feature on tonight’s Late Show.