Stephen Colbert opened The Late Show Thursday night with an emotional monologue rebuking President Donald Trump’s claims that the 2020 presidential election has been fraudulent. After the president broke his two-day silence with a press conference Thursday evening, where he claimed, without evidence, that there has been widespread voter fraud, Colbert scrapped his originally planned monologue to address Trump's attempt to "poison American democracy."
Dressed in all black and standing beside his desk, Colbert said that he was "dressed for a funeral because Donald Trump tried really hard to kill something tonight." The host said that Trump "lied for 15 minutes" about "illegal vote dumps and corrupt election officials and secret Democratic counting cabals." Colbert, however, said that this was predictable, that "we all knew this was coming." He said that "for weeks, we have been talking about how there'd be a red mirage" and how mail-in ballots could cause states to lean towards Joe Biden, "and that Trump would probably then come out around… and pretend that he won and accuse everybody else of cheating."
"If you did not know that Joe Biden was getting close to 270, Donald Trump just provided all the proof you will ever need." pic.twitter.com/urOeCrbzHr— A Late Show (@colbertlateshow) November 6, 2020
"What I didn't know is that it would hurt so much. I didn't expect this to break my heart. For him to cast a dark shadow on our most sacred right, from the briefing room in the White House, our house, not his, that is devastating," an emotional Colbert continued. "This is heartbreaking for the same reason that I didn’t want him to get COVID. Certainly why I wanted him to survive because he is the president of the United States. That office means something and that office should have some shred of decency."
Colbert went on to implore those in the Republican party who have so far remained silent to publicly condemn the president, stating, "Republicans have to speak up. All of them. Because for evil to succeed, all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing," He said that "when it comes to democracy or fascism, I’m sorry, there are not fine people on both sides. So you need to choose: Donald Trump or the American people?"
"Americans are gonna count something else staring right now," Colbert said. "They are gonna count who was willing to speak up against Donald Trump trying to kill democracy. And they’ll count who will stay silent in the face of this desperate attack on the bedrock institution of this truly great nation."