Last night was a monumental election that fundamentally shifts the balance of power in Washington for years to come, Stephen Colbert told his Late Show audience the morning after the midterm elections. And no, it was not the top story of the day, because, in the morning, President Donald Trump had fired his Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the CBS late-night host revealed, which seemed to come as news to many in his Ed Sullivan Theater audience, based on their reaction.
Trump actually had sacked Sessions before his mid-day presser at which CBS News’s Major Garrett asked him whether Session and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein had a future in their jobs now that the midterms were over.
Trump ducked, saying he’d like to answer that at a later time.
“There is some confusion among stupid people as to whether Sessions was fired or resigned,” Colbert said. Yes, Sessions did submit a letter of resignation. But, Colbert noted, it began: “At your request, I am submitting my resignation.”
The move does not come as a huge shock, Colbert said. For more than a year, Trump has blamed Sessions for recusing himself from overseeing the Russia election tamper investigation, which, in turn, led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
“You can’t blame Sessions for recusing himself!” Colbert insisted. “It’s the only good thing he has ever done!”
Trump has made no secret of his feeling about Sessions, calling him a “traitor,” a “dumb southerner,” “Mr. Magoo” – and, Colbert reminded, Trump called him “perhaps the most humiliating of all: ‘member of my administration’.”