UPDATED with video: “The way I do my job I make myself aware of what happened today, what everybody is talking about and then I try to make some sense of it for you,” Stephen Colbert said at the end of a topsy-turvy day. “I make some jokes so we can all go to sleep.”
But, Colbert said, he has no explanation for what happened this afternoon, when President Donald Trump invited members of congress to a bipartisan meeting to address gun violence in America. Colbert called that “great,” though he could not resist cheap shotting Trump with a gag about him stopping an attack with karate, after Trump told a gathering of governors he would have rushed into the Florida high school unarmed to stop the AR-15-armed teen who slew 17.
And, in Colbert’s defense, Trump set himself up to be a punchline when he told Republicans at today’s gathering that the real obstacle to gun control in the recent past was their POTUS, Barack Obama.
That, after some Republicans in the room noted that despite 97% of people wanting universal background checks, they had not been able to get a bill done.
Trump explained that’s because they did not have a lot of “presidential backup” back then.
They noted Obama actually did support legislation.
Trump was having none of it, insisting the problem was Obama not being “proactive.”
“You have a different president now,” he crowed.
And Colbert admitted he distinctly remembers “how Republicans were begging Obama to sign the GOP Gun Control Bill. But Obama couldn’t get it done because Americans demanded to keep their guns to shoot down all the flying pigs.”
That gag out of the way, Colbert got down to giving Trump props for turning against the Republicans in the room earlier in the day.
“Some of you people are petrified of the NRA. They have great power over you people,” Trump scolded, accurately.
On the other hand, Trump insisted, “they have less power over me,” adding, “What do I need?”
“A conscience, a shred of dignity, and a salad once in a while,” Colbert answered.
To prove he was not afraid of the powerful lobbying group, during talk of a universal background check Trump told the Republicans they had to drop their provision allowing concealed carry permits across states lines.
“You’ll never get that passed. If you add concealed-carry, you’ll never get it passed,” he said.
“Again, you’ll never get it passed,” Trump repeated, making three times in all.
“He’s being…reasonable?” a dumbstruck Colbert said.
“I’ve got to give credit to Donald Trump. Never thought he’d go there,” the late-night host admitted.
“But, not only did he go there, he went way past there, to a place no one had a ticket for.”
Because when Veep Mike Pence suggested an early intervention system that would allow courts to take people’s guns away after a hearing, Trump interrupted:
“Or, Mike, take the firearms first and then go to court. I like taking the guns early. Take the guns first; go through due process second.”
And with that, Colbert said with a smile, Trump finally is, in fact, doing something Obama never did.
“He’s coming for your guns.”