Late night shows Tuesday night dealt with Donald Trump Jr.’s newly released emails with jokes, questions and even a formal apology from Stephen Colbert.
“I’d like to apologize to Eric Trump,” Colbert said of another of the president’s sons. “We always thought you were the dumb one… We were wrong.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump Jr., President Trump’s eldest son, released emails from last summer via Twitter in which he’d agreed to meet with someone he’d been told was a “Russian government attorney” about “very high level and sensitive information” that would “incriminate” Hillary Clinton.
Trump Jr. tweeted that he was releasing the emails to be “totally transparent,” but his release came just before The New York Times published the content of the emails.
The Times had reported Saturday that Trump Jr. met with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, alongside Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
The host of CBS’ “The Late Show” opened his show trying to figure out what Trump Jr. was doing by tweeting out the emails.
“Who told him to do this? Does he even have a lawyer?” Colbert asked. “Because you rarely see a cop show where the lawyer bursts into the interrogation room and shouts, ‘keep talking! In fact, tweet out everything you know!'”
Colbert remarked that some called the Russia story a “nothing burger” but said that now with the emails it has turned into an “all you can prosecute buffet.”
Colbert also brought out a chalk board he called the “Figure-It-Out-A-Tron” to help figure out “the connection from the U.S. to Russia.”
As he connected the dots around a cartoonish image of Trump Jr., the lines began to resemble the bars of a jail cell.
The Late Show’s discussion about the news of the day didn’t just stop with Colbert. It also extended to his guests — “Morning Joe” hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
Scarborough, who was a Republican congressman, took the opportunity to say that he’s no longer a member of the GOP.
“You have to ask yourself, what exactly is the Republican party willing to do? How far are they willing to go? How much of this country and our values are they willing to sell out?” he told Colbert. “I’m not going to be a Republican anymore. I’ve got to become an independent.”
The MSNBC hosts were recently the target of President Trump, who posted a pair of hateful tweets about Scarborough and Brzezinski.
MSNBC responded to that incident with a statement: “It’s a sad day for America when the president spends his time bullying, lying and spewing petty personal attacks instead of doing his job.”
Elsewhere on late night, Trevor Noah, the host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” opened his broadcast with a question.
“What do you get when you cross a Russian, an email and an idiot?” he asked his audience before delving into the story.
Noah also added that Tuesday’s news is “a big blow to the president and his administration” because the conversation has changed.
“It’s no longer, ‘was there collusion?’ But instead, ‘how much collusion was there? And all because of his own son,” he said. “Donald Jr. is now the first thing Trump regrets putting his name on.”
And ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel told his “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” audience that his normal morning routine meant more to him today due to the news.
“Today was one of those days I woke up, I cracked my neck, I brushed my teeth, I looked in the mirror and said ‘boy, I’m glad I’m not Donald Trump Jr.,'” Kimmel said. “I have that thought about three times a week, but today I said it out loud.”
– Brian Stelter and Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report
CNNMoney (New York) First published July 12, 2017: 2:20 AM ET