Stephen Colbert on how John Bolton has put the pressure on Republicans

President Donald Trump and former National Security Adviser John Bolton (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump and former National Security Adviser John Bolton (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) /

Stephen Colbert explained the game changing revelations in John Bolton’s book and also reacted to Mike Pompeo’s testy exchange with a reporter.

It may be President Donald Trump who is on trial but the impeachment saga has put the reputations and legacies of many individuals on the line. Republicans in Congress and members of the Trump administration both past and present are feeling the pressure as Stephen Colbert explained on The Late Show.

After taking Monday night off, The Late Show played catch up on Tuesday night as Colbert reacted to developments from the previous few days. Chief among those was the reports on former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s book. Bolton directly ties President Trump to the freezing of aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into Democrats.

Under normal circumstances, Bolton would be brought in to testify in the impeachment trial. His firsthand knowledge of the scandal at the heart of impeachment would be crucial and if true, damning to the Trump presidency.

But as The Late Show has been documenting for weeks now, we are not in normal circumstances. Whether or not witnesses will even be allowed in the trial continues to be argued. Colbert’s monologue explained how Bolton’s bombshell turns up the pressure on Republicans already struggling to defend President Trump.

Tuesday night also gave Colbert a chance to respond to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s interview with NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly. Perhaps Secretary Pompeo is starting to break under the pressure of impeachment? Let The Late Show explain:

Like he has done seemingly thousands of times, Stephen Colbert tries to make sense of the rationale behind those defending Donald Trump. He questions Alan Dershowitz’s claim that even if Bolton’s revelations were true, it does not amount to an abuse of power. This is a far cry from the “perfect phone call” and “no quid pro quo” defenses from months ago.

Bolton’s book puts pressure on GOP senators acting as jurors in President Trump’s trial. The reports only strengthen the case for calling witnesses. Despite Senator Mitt Romney’s statements, Colbert isn’t holding his breath that the Utah senator and others will come through in favor of witnesses. If Bolton doesn’t get the chance to testify, perhaps he will speak once again with Colbert on The Late Show?

Colbert then turns his attention to Mike Pompeo who was also implicated in Bolton’s book. Pompeo was widely criticized for his exchange with NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly over Ukraine both on air and off air. The impromptu geography test he put Kelly through was called “bullying” by Colbert who then noted it’s possible Pompeo confused Bangladesh and Belarus in his response.

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We have Republican Senators maybe, possibly going against the Trump administration. We have former White House officials throwing others under the bus. The Secretary of State is flipping out on NPR reporters. Yes, Stephen Colbert, it is safe to say that the GOP is feeling the pressure.