Stephen Colbert scrapped comedy for a passionate monologue about Donald Trump’s lie-filled speech about supposed voter fraud, tearing up as he claimed the president tried to ‘kill democracy.’
Stephen Colbert was dressed for a funeral when he taped the November 5 episode of The Late Show. Colbert, 56, tried to hold back tears as he addressed his audience in a heartfelt speech, rather than the humorous monologue that usually marks the top of the talk show. The segment was filmed shortly after President Donald Trump delivered an unhinged speech at the White House, falsely declaring he won the 2020 election and that it was being stolen from him by voter fraud — allegedly conducted by Joe Biden, according to Trump.
“We’re taping this a little while after Donald Trump walked into the White House briefing room and tried to poison American democracy,” Colbert began the broadcast while standing next to his desk. “That’s why I’m not sitting down yet, I just don’t feel like it yet. That’s also why I’m dressed for a funeral, because Donald Trump tried really hard to kill something tonight.” He went on to say that Trump “lied for 15 minutes” to the public, spouting “just nonsensical stuff about illegal vote dumps and corrupt election officials and secret Democrat counting cabals.”
Colbert said that he wasn’t surprised by the president’s behavior after Biden pulled ahead in several key swing states. At the time of The Late Show‘s broadcast, Biden was leading with 253 electoral votes to Trump’s 214. The presidency is won at 270 and it was becoming increasingly clear that Biden could clinch it. “We all knew he would do this. What I didn’t know is that it would hurt so much,” Colbert said. “I didn’t expect this to break my heart. For him to cast a dark shadow on our most sacred right from the briefing room in the White House, our house, not his. That is devastating.”
“This is heartbreaking for the same reason that I didn’t want him to get COVID, certainly why I want him to survive because he is the President of the United States,” Colbert continued. “That office means something and that office should have some shred of decency.” He went on to urge Republican politicians to speak up and condemn Trump’s behavior. “Because for evil to succeed, all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing,” the former Colbert Report host stated. “So say something right now, Republicans, not later.”
Trump’s November 5 speech was so heinous and lie-filled that major networks like MSNBC cut away from the broadcast. He rambled about unnamed Democrats trying to “steal” and “rig” the election, and falsely claimed that he won Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia because of his early leads in the states. He is somehow under the impression that continuing to count votes after Election Day means they’re illegitimate. “If you count the legal votes, I easily win,” he said.
Trump reiterated many of the points he made during a speech on Election Night, November 3. The president claimed that he would get states to “stop counting” votes after the polls closed by getting the Supreme Court involved — something he has no power to do. “This is a fraud on the American public. This is an embarrassment to the country… We’ll be going to the US Supreme Court. We want all voting to stop. We don’t want them to find any ballots at 4:00am and add them to the list,” he said.