Stephen Colbert Offers Rare, Sincere Trump Praise After Shooting

Stephen Colbert skipped his usual cold open sketch Wednesday and instead began his show on a serious note. “Ladies and gentlemen, before we get started, I just want to take a moment to talk about the attack today in Alexandria, Virginia,” the Late Show host said, referring to the shooting that left Republican Congressman Steve Scalise gravely injured.

“Once again, we’re all shocked in mind and soul by a mass shooting, this time targeting, apparently, Republican congressmen, and I pray to God that everyone pulls through,” Colbert continued. “Violence of any kind is never justified and is the last refuge of the incompetent. Thankfully, none of the members or their staff or police were killed today.”

“And I will say this: Even in the horror of this day, there was reason to take heart in bipartisan responses like this,” playing clips of the messages from Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan on the floor of the House. He even offered up some rare praise for President Donald Trump himself.

“So I just want to say thank you to the congressional leadership and to the president for responding to this act of terror in a way that gives us hope that whatever our differences, we will always be the United States of America,” Colbert said. “Thank you for that.”

Colbert’s first guest, Daily Show host Trevor Noah, also offered up his thoughts on the day’s events, echoing some of the message he expressed earlier in the night on his own show.

“It was great to see people from both sides seeing this and uniting under the banner of human, and American, before anything else,” Noah said. “That’s one of the things that we’re seeing less and less of in society today, it feels like.” Something he sees “lacking in American politics,” is people on both sides of the aisle demonstrating that they can be “friends” in addition to being political rivals.

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Noah said members of Congress, not to mention the president, could do a better job of telling people, “We can fight, you can fight, but don’t forget at your core, you are Americans.”