Move over Megyn Kelly — Stephen Colbert’s in Russia, “on assignment” for a future Late Show broadcast, and has promised to bring back tapes of Donald Trump’s conversation with fired FBI Director James Comey:
Trump, who attempted to intimidate FBI Director James Comey after sacking him, with a tweeted threat he might have recorded their conversations, Thursday morning tweeted “kidding” — or words to that effect.
Maybe not coincidentally, Trump had a deadline of the end of this week to turn over to the House Intel Committee all memos about, and any tapes of, conversations with Comey.
This storyline debuted in May, when Trump tweeted, the day after firing Comey: “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”
Ironically, Comey testified he set in motion the leak of his memo about his dinner with Trump to The New York Times. That led Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the probe of Russian interference in the presidential election and whether Trump campaign staffers colluded in that effort. Mueller’s probe reportedly has expanded to also look into whether Trump may have obstructed justice in firing Comey.
Meanwhile, Colbert visits Russia on the heels of NBC News’ latest star Megyn Kelly, who traveled there earlier this month to moderate a forum in St. Petersburg and then sit down with Russian ruler Vladimir Putin for the debut of her Sunday newsmag. That interview, however, was not the ratings slam-dunk pundits predicted, netting NBC an average of 6.1M viewers.
Colbert’s also not the first late-night host, nor the first The Daily Show alum, to travel to Russia for his show; HBO’s Last Week Tonight star John Oliver flew there in 2015 for a sit-down with Edward Snowden.