UPDATED with video: Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti and Donald Trump’s shortest-tenured White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci sure picked a yeasty news day to guest on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show.
Hours earlier, Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen had parted company with his legal team, and Washington spent the day playing a new Michael Cohen parlor game called “Flip or Indict.”
Avenatti and Scaramucci are the new Washington It Couple. Recently they were being shopped around to co-host a TV program – like Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski. They also were seen together at parties coinciding with Upfront Week and the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
Stephen Colbert announced last week he would have them on tonight’s show – a sort of Natti & The Mooch Show backdoor pilot.
“You know Michael Cohen — you guys are buddies,” Colbert told Avenatti.
“Now Michael Cohen evidently either dropped or lost his legal team. And they have not named a replacement,” Colbert continued. “There are rumors he’s going to flip or that he’s about to to be arrested. Which do you think is going to happen?”
Avenatti, not subscribing to Colbert’s either/or format, went with “both,” explaining, “I think Michael Cohen is in a very, very bad spot. And I think the president is in a very, very bad spot. Because this is what happens when you trust your innermost secrets to a moron.”
Things got contentious when The Mooch refused to acknowledge the times Trump has been caught in lies. Avenatti called “Dazed and Confused Rudy Giuliani’s” press tour “an absolute walking disaster,” adding, “this is what happens when an entire administration is built on a house of lies…When you can’t keep your lies straight this is what happens.”
The Mooch insisted all presidents except George Washington have lied at one point or another, because “politicians lie when their mouths are open,” by way of suggesting Trump’s lies are business as usual.
“If you lie there is a consequence for having been caught,” Colbert scolded. “That is the foundation of public morality and ethics. If you say [Trump] lies and that’s fine, where are we going?”
When Mooch re-stated his we’ve-all-told-lies gag, Colbert punched back, “But not about colluding with the Russian government to undermine our democracy!”
Mooch switched to a “I don’t think the president had any knowledge” defense but the studio audience was having none of it.
“This is your jury, by the way,” Avenatti told Mooch of their booing and hissing.
At one point Mooch reached into the Team Trump’s bag o’ talking points and came up with “you guys have to remember he did win and got 63 million people.”
“Nobody says he didn’t win. That’s a straw man,” responded Colbert, who’d been ready for that one.
As the three men kept talking, and drinking rosé, Colbert finally announced, “I want to warn our affiliates we might be going long. I want to apologize to James Corden for bumping his hour.”
Colbert got so heated up that Avenatti jumped in to say something nice about his partner: “If The Mooch was still at the White House the relationship with the press would be far better than it is…The assault that has occurred on the press and First Amendment in this country over the last 18 months is shocking and disturbing, period.”
“We have to hold sacred the First Amendment,” the Mooch agreed, happy to have his Colbert pounding ended. “That first day, I turned lights and cameras back on in the press room because I firmly believe that the free press of the United States has to hold people in power accountable.”
Mooch said he would advise Trump to do interviews with all of the networks and “get out of the…box you’re in right now” on Fox News Channel. “Let’s end the war declaration on the media,” he told Trump.
Here’s more of their sit-down with Colbert: