Even Stephen Colbert was shocked by some of the details about President Donald Trump presented in John Bolton’s forthcoming memoir, The Room Where It Happens.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this: it’s worse than even I imagined,” Colbert said on Wednesday’s episode of The Late Show.
Bolton’s book, which the Trump administration has tried to prevent from being released, includes stories about the president that Colbert said ranged from “amoral idiocy to just downright evil.”
“According to Bolton, Trump’s ignorance is near-bottomless,” Colbert said. “Apparently, Trump didn’t seem to know that Britain was a nuclear power and asked if Finland was part of Russia. Now, you can understand his confusion there, because under President Trump, it feels like we’re kind of part of Russia.”
In another part of the book, Bolton claims Trump pleaded with China leader Xi Jinping to help him win reelection. “Trump then, stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming U.S. presidential election, alluding to China’s economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win. He stressed the importance of farmers and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome. I would print Trump’s exact words, but the government’s prepublication review process has decided otherwise,” Bolton wrote in an excerpt obtained by the Wall Street Journal.
Impersonating Trump, Colbert joked, “Xi, please, buy the wheat or I’m dead meat. Also, Arizona is not looking good for me, so I’m going to need you guys to buy a lot of iced tea.”
According to Bolton, Xi is also a key player in one of the book’s more disturbing anecdotes: when Xi told Trump about his plans to build concentration camps in Xinjiang, Trump allegedly said that was “the right thing to do.”
“I have no doubt that those Chinese concentration camps are horrible,” Colbert said. “But you know, Trump’s a builder. I’m sure he hooked up Xi with a good contractor. Maybe the same guy who built Trump’s baby cages.”
Bolton was appointed to national security advisor by Trump in 2018. In the book, Bolton claims he was told on his first day by former Chief of Staff John Kelly that the White House was a “bad place to work” and that Kelly was “desperate” to leave.
“Sounds like working there was like the movie Get Out, except the characters were more hostile to black people,” Colbert said before ripping into Kelly. “While we’re on the subject, boo-fucking-hoo, General. It’s the White House, not Dairy Queen. If it’s this horrible of a place, you’re obliged to tell the world about the crimes and save the nation. Not privately bitch about it with your buddy until there’s an opening at Cold Stone Creamery.”