Before there was Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into President Trump's campaign and Russia, the FBI started a counterterrorism investigation of the campaign that we now know was code-named "Crossfire Hurricane," which is also the name of a Rolling Stones song. According to The Late Show's re-enactment of the session where the FBI dreamed up that code name, "Crossfire Hurricane" was a compromise reached after some serious disagreement, mostly about the artistic merits of the band King Crimson.
"How about Beatles, 'Back in the USSR?'" one agent suggested. "Too obvious," said the team leader and King Crimson fan. "Jailhouse Rock?" suggested the other agent. "Nah, the Elvis estate is too litigious." They finally agreed on the Stones song, but quickly ran into discord about the relative merit of the band's members. In real life, Trump and his allies are trying to undermine the FBI's counterterrorism investigation, but it's kind of fun to imagine the early team fighting — like men of a certain age are wont to do — over classic rock. Watch below. Peter Weber
Stephen Colbert reminded Jake Tapper, his guest on Thursday's Late Show, that it was the one-year anniversary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's appointment to investigate Russian collusion and the Trump campaign. "One full year — which, by my calculations, 36 and a half Scaramuccis," Tapper agreed. Colbert noted that President Trump "is still calling this 'Witch Hunt,'" and Tapper said yes, and "they've caught a few witches, by the way. There have been a few witch indictments."
Colbert asked if Rudy Giuliani is right that all Mueller can do is "write a report," and Tapper said sure, but that "report" could lead to criminal charges. Colbert said he'd be happy with a report. "What kind of report are you looking for?" Tapper asked. "The truth. ... I want somebody to say what actually happened," Colbert said. "I mean, Donald Trump will come and Donald Trump will go — I think we learned that from Stormy," he joked, but "knowing what the truth was" may at least add "some sort of ethical or moral spine to this moment."
Tapper one-upped him: "You want the truth about Russia and possible collusion — I would just like the truth and facts to be respected again in this country." Okay, "let me ask you about how that feels, then, to have people on TV who aid and abet with the corrosion of that information?" Colbert asked. "Kellyanne Conway — why have her on TV? She is a collection of deceptions with a blonde wig stapled on top." Tapper didn't disagree, exactly, but he said he thinks "sometimes it's worth it to have people on so you can challenge the very notion of the facts that are being disregarded and the lies that are being told."
They went on to talk about Tapper's new novel, The Hellfire Club, plus the echoes of Joe McCarthy, the sexy scene, and Tapper's unfortunate "superpower," which he demonstrated on Colbert. Watch below. Peter Weber
Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, and Trevor Noah collectively heal the 'yanny'-'laurel' divide
"Much of the English-speaking world has been torn in two over the past 48 hours," Jimmy Kimmel said on Wednesday's Kimmel Live, playing the word that some people hear as "laurel" and others, apparently, as "yanny." Kimmel's audience was divided, and he said he used to hear one but now hears the other. "But whether you hear 'laurel' or 'yanny,' there's one thing I think we can all agree on: Nothing has ever mattered less than this," Kimmel said. And yet, the internet has exploded with theories "about why we hear what we hear, and also comparing this to that blue dress/gold dress thing from a few years ago."
Kimmel had a more philosophical takeaway: "Ultimately, it illustrates that what is real isn't absolute. What we believe to be true depends on who we are, where we are, how we look at it, other individual factors like that — what's real to one person might not be real to another person. And if that is true, which I now think it is, I may now owe Donald Trump an apology." He doesn't, but he did note that it's "good to fight about something stupid again."
On The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon and Steve Higgins heard "yanny" while The Roots heard "laurel" — and Questlove did a remix, then punted. "I think it's both," Fallon finally decided. "I spent way too much time on that."
Everybody has, Trevor Noah said on The Daily Show. And "everyone had different theories, trying to figure out if maybe different types of people heard different things — like maybe old people heard 'laurel' and young people heard 'yanny,' or black people heard 'laurel' and the police heard 'He's got a gun!!!'" But he offered a solution that just might heal this divide: "We need President Trump to tell us what he heard, and then everyone will immediately know what they think." Watch below. Peter Weber
Seth Meyers made a fake Nobel Peace Prize for nothing.
On Wednesday's Late Night, the host lamented that he was ready to present the faux prize to President Trump ahead of his June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but on Tuesday, North Korea threatened to back out of the meeting. "This should delight no one," Meyers said. "Diplomacy with North Korea is a good thing and is the only way to resolve this situation without armed conflict."
Now is the time for "calm, steady leadership," Meyers added, before playing a clip of Trump saying multiple times Wednesday that he knows nothing about the current situation with North Korea or how the U.S. will respond. "You haven't seen anything or heard anything?" Meyers said. "I never thought I'd say this but Mr. President, you should watch more TV." Trump is dealing with more than just North Korea — watch below for Meyers' take on all of his foreign policy troubles, from the Middle East to China. Catherine Garcia
Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, and special guests celebrate Mother's Day with mom jokes
"Of all the many relationships we as humans have, mother is probably the most complicated," Jimmy Kimmel said on Thursday's pre-Mother's Day Kimmel Live. "I mean, we come out of them — that's weird, right? And so to honor the fascinating women who baked us, we invited famous people to read text messages from their mothers." Well, all except for Patton Oswalt.
Stephen Colbert described Mother's Day as "the annual tradition of taking mom out to brunch and getting enough mimosas in her so that she doesn't notice you're signing the card under the table." Your mother "loves your cards," he added on The Late Show, "but even the best Mother's Day cards had to start somewhere," and he and a mother from the audience showed off some "early efforts" that (luckily) didn't quite pan out.
And on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon shared some of his favorite #MomQuotes — you know, in case your mother isn't on Twitter. Watch below. Peter Weber
Stephen Colbert wants to know why Israel's Netanyahu is hyping old news about Iran ahead of Trump's big nuclear deal decision
President Trump has until May 12 to decide if he will unilaterally pull the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal, and he's being coy about his intentions, Stephen Colbert said on Tuesday's Late Show. "People on both sides are trying to sway the president," and yesterday it was the turn of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu went on Israeli TV to talk to Trump, saying he had proof that Iran lied about its nuclear program and showing off a shelf of books and a rack of CDs Israeli intelligence stole from Iran. "Come on, Bibi, throw in a jet ski or something," Colbert suggested, unimpressed.
"But here's the thing: None of this is new information," Colbert said. "He did a big blockbuster reveal of information from 2003. I assume he also blew the lid off Finding Nemo and the shocking report that Limp Bizkit rulez." The White House even said it had already long known about the information, but it had to correct a crucial verb tense from Iran "has" a secret nuclear weapons program to "had." "Oh, that's kind of different," he said. "Like the difference between 'has chlamydia' and 'had chlamydia' — something to be careful about when you're typing up your Tinder profile."
He ended his monologue by noting that, according to Trump's Twitter posts, everything is runny super smoothly in the White House, and singing a version of Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" modified to reflect Trump's onerous schedule.
To highlight that Netanyahu was really speaking to an audience of one about Iran's defunct nuclear weapons program, The Late Show slightly amended his PowerPoint presentation. Watch below. Peter Weber
Trevor Noah is pretty sure the only thing that terrifies President Trump "more than going bald is the Mueller investigation," but there's really no reason for him to be scared.
The New York Times on Monday published a list of the questions Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask Trump as part of his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible obstruction of justice. If Trump does sit down for an interview, Noah said on Tuesday's Daily Show, his response will be the same. "'They said I could never get to 270 Electoral College votes, I got 306, so many votes,'" Noah said, doing his best Trump impression. "Mueller will be like, 'My question was, please state your name for the record.'"
Trump is being told by people close to him that he shouldn't talk to investigators, and some advisers believe Mueller is trying to snare him in his net, but Noah isn't buying it. "What trap?" he said. "He's giving Trump the questions ahead of time. That's not a trap. Trump can practice his answers, he can tattoo them on himself like Memento if he needs to." The whole interview would be "the world's easiest open-book test," Noah added, "and still Trump's people are saying, 'Yeah, I'm worried he's still gonna fail.'" Watch the video below. Catherine Garcia
President Trump's bromance with French President Emmanuel Macron may have hit a snag on Wednesday, but Trump didn't take long to rekindle an old flame. "I don't know if you've checked Twitter today, but right now my Twitter feed is just tweets from Donald Trump and Kanye West," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show. "I think Kanye's lobbying for a job as Trump's new communications director — he could just change his name to Kellyanne Kanye."
Colbert read the Kanye tweet where he identified Trump as his "brother" who shares his "dragon energy" and defended his "right to independent thought." "Yes, we have the right to independent thought, and I independently think that Kanye has lost his mind," he said. "But then things took an even stupider turn, because Trump actually responded to Kanye — I assume because an alarm went off in the White House that someone on Twitter was being crazier than him." Either way, this is "a total bro-fest," Colbert said. "Look for their new album, Yeezy & Sleazy."
"In a related story, Trump just made Kanye the new secretary of dragon energy," Jimmy Fallon said on The Tonight Show. "Which is amazing — I didn't even know that was a job."
"I don't even know what happened here — I think Kanye West just realized he's too rich to not be Republican," Trevor Noah said on The Daily Show. "And you know that this is also going to confuse people on Fox News, right? Because they're probably going to be like: 'Why don't these celebrity rap thugs stay out of politics and — sorry, this guy understands the American people!'" Noah reminded everyone that Kanye said George W. Bush hated black people: "When George Bush sees this on Twitter, he'll be, like, 'What the f--k? I know I was a bad president, but this guy's friends with Nazis!'" Watch below. Peter Weber