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tv   The Late Show With Stephen Colbert  CBS  May 25, 2018 11:35pm-12:37am PDT

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'sup pixies! pixnation... late show with stephen colbert is coming up next. have a great weekend. we'll see ya. captioning sponsored by cbs >> the wait is over. tonight, stephen colbert sits down with james comey. ( laughter ) ( laughter ) >> stephen: am i supposed to ask questions? i thought we were just sitting. >> announcer: it's "the late show with stephen colbert." tonight, it's comey day! plus, stephen welcomes james comey and musical guest jason aldean. featuring jon batiste and stay human. and now, live on tape from the ed sullivan theater in new york
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city, it's stephen colbert! ( cheers and applause ) ♪ ♪ >> stephen: woo! hello! how are you? ( cheers and applause ) there was something. there was something different in there. you threw me. hey, everybody! how are you? welcome, welcome, welcome to "the late show." i'm your host, stephen colbert. first of all-- ( cheers and applause ) thank you very much. happy comey day, everybody. because mere moments from now, one commercial break from now, i'm going to be sitting down over there with former f.b.i. director james comey, and i'm going to ask him all the important questions. is there a pee pee tape? ( laughter ) does he believe his firing constituted obstruction of justice? can you get that thing off the top shelf for me? ( laughter )
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now-- it's the pee pee tape. can you get it off there? ( laughter ) now, his book is about maintaining high ethical standards in public office, which brings us to tonight's "stormy watch." ( cheers and applause ) ♪ ♪ everyone is still reeling from yesterday's court hearing about trump attorney and guy who looks as tired as a trump attorney, michael cohen. trump asked to look at all the evidence seized from cohen's office before the government had a chance to, and the judge said- - and i quote-- haha, no. ( laughter ) but she is considering turning the evidence over to what is called a "special master." also what trump called stormy daniels while she was spanking him with that magazine. ( laughter ) and-- allegedly. >> jon: oh, wow. >> stephen: allegedly.
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we don't know. >> jon: only allegedly. >> stephen: and trump's got to be concerned about what the feds are going to find. in fact, "the guys that know trump best are the most worried. people are very, very worried. because it's michael 'effing' cohen. who knows what he's done?" besides keeping the public from finding out who trump's been effing? ( laughter ) and, for the record, that stands for "friending." ( laughter ) as in, "are you out of your friending mind?" ( laughter ) now, cohen is in all sorts of shady dealings. shady dealings, by the way, the next porn star. ( laughter ) sources say-- i heard, allegedly. ( laughter ) sources say, "people at the trump organization don't even really know everything cohen does. it's all side deals and off-the- books stuff. trump doesn't even fully know." "wait. who did i have sex with? really? but i'm married."
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( laughter ) now, things might have gone better if cohen was more focused on his case. it turns out, cohen was preoccupied yesterday with the courtroom sketch artists. he asked to see the drawings they made of him, saying, "i'm better looking." ( laughter ) are you sure that should be your priority right now? ( laughter ) it's like you're about to be hanged, and you say, "hold on. does this rope make my neck look fat?" ( laughter ) but, tell you what, let us be the judge. jim, can you put up that courtroom sketch? that's him in the middle. okay, not great. but you know who really should have complained? those water bottles. ( laughter ) there was also an appearance from porn star and major historical figure, stormy daniels. of course, one of the most disturbing elements of her story is being threatened in front of her daughter by a man she believes was linked to trump and cohen. so she sat down with a forensic sketch artist, and today she
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released the composite drawing. there he is, the man who threatened her, the love child of willem dafoe, tom brady, and bon jovi. ( laughter ) and-- i think i heard-- is this true? we have a video of his last known whereabouts. ♪ take on me take on me ♪ >> stephen: and-- sorry, sorry. i was back-- i was back in the 80s. ( cheers and applause ) i was back in it. >> jon: i like that! >> stephen: that was my scene. and if being a goon doesn't work out, he could become a model for abercrombie & fitch. in fact, i think i saw him in one of their catalogs. jim, pan up. ah-ha! ( laughter ) meanwhile, the pulitzer prizes were announced today, and kendrick lamar won the 2018 prize for music for his hip-hop opus "damn." ( cheers and applause )
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and all i can say is, golly! this is a big deal, because it's "the first non-classical, non- jazz pulitzer prize winner in history." so it's official: rap is dead. ( laughter ) it's now going to be destroyed by college poetry professors with the elbow patches. "now, i want you to note the dichotomy between his love of his mother and the desire for the 'hoe ass bitch.' ( laughter ) it's... it's an eternal struggle. it's a zeitgeist leitmotif of a bildungsroman. now, then, who's having sex with me? ( laughter ) it's in the syllabus." of course, true connoisseurs of hip hop, like me, are dying to hear the lost wu-tang clan masterpiece "once upon a time in shaolin," because there's only a single copy of the album in existence.
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that's right, wu-tang only made one copy and sold one copy, which means i outsold wu-tang clan with my rap album: "straight outta charleston." ( cheers and applause ) look for it. "straight outta charleston" fans. exactly. look for it at walmart in that bin where they sell candy corn in february. ( laughter ) now, "once upon a time in shaolin" was originally purchased for $2-million by pharma bro martin shkreli. but, unfortunately, shkreli came down with an acute case of "going to jail." so he was forced to turn the album over to the department of justice, which means that, believe it or not, the forfeited wu-tang album is now in jeff sessions' hands. ( laughter ) it's in his hands! he could be staring at the album cover right now, trying to figure out how there are nine black men he hasn't put in jail yet. ( audience reacts ) >> jon: oh! >> stephen: that joke is critical of that.
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( laughter ) the point of the joke is he's too ready to-- okay, now. some people want "once upon a time in shaolin" released to the public, like wu-tang rapper method man, who told a reporter, "i thought people were going to be able to go into a museum and listen to it. if it was me, i would just say give it away for free." i don't know how to break it to you, method man, it's 2018. your music's already being given away for free. ( laughter ) so, method man wants "once upon a time in shaolin" released to the public. here to respond, in a "late show" exclusive, the man who controls the album's fate, u.s. attorney general jeff sessions. ( laughter ) "yo, yo, yo, uh-huh, uh-huh. yo, yo, yo, it's the return of jefferson beauregard sessions, a.k.a. lil jeffy lock-em-ups. ( laughter )
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i'm here to let you know that i will not be releasing 'once upon a time in shaolin' to the public. it's mine, all mine! ha-ha! there's nothing you can do, or even the wu-tang can do to change that." ( cheers and applause ) >> hold up, hold up. hold up, hold up. first of all-- right, right. i'm saying, though. ( cheers and applause ) people, people, please. first of all-- >> stephen: wait. what? >> hold on, people. first of all, that album belongs to the people. >> yeah, wu-tang clan ain't nothing to ( bleep ) with, too. >> stephen: it's method man and ghostface killah from wu-tang clan, everybody! ( cheers and applause ) i gotta tell you, i'm a huge fan of you guys. i love the 35 chambers! >> no, no, no, it's the 36 chambers, bro. >> stephen: yeah, i know... 35 of them are great. so, what can i do for you guys? >> we're actually not here for you coal-bert. ( laughter ) >> right.
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>> we're here for the cookie. >> stephen: oh, right. attorney general? "well, well, well, if it isn't mr. man and mr. killah, two of my favorite clan members. right up there with inspectah deck and david duke." >> quit your yammerin', you little keebler elf. you've got no business keeping that record to yourself. >> "sorry, y'all might be the o.gs, but i'm the "a.g." and this record is mine, and i need it! it's the only thing that relieves the stress of my terrible job. every minute i spend listening to your dope rhymes is a minute i'm not hearing donald trump calling me "weak" or "disgraceful." he might as well call me an "old dirty bastard." ( laughter ) >> no. senator, senator, i knew old dirty bastard. he was a friend of mine. and you, sir, are no old dirty bastard. >> now give us the album. >> stephen: "sorry, bitches.
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i'm not handing over anything for free. as you can see from my profile, i'm filled with cream. cash rules everything around me- - cream! get the money, dollar, dollar, bill y'all!" >> all right, fine. you know, i guess you give us no choice but to settle this through the ancient ways of shaolin. >> brace yourself for combat. >> stephen: "i accept your challenge, young grasshoppers. prepare to be alabama slammed!" ( gong ) ( gong ) ( gong ) ( gong ) ( gong ) ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: a battle for the ages! method man and ghostface, everybody! we've got a great show for you tonight. james comey is here. stick around! hey paul.
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sprintern. what are you up to?
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ithe race for governort. has turned into a scam. gavin newsom's trying to elect a republican who was endorsed by trump. and villaraigosa's being bankrolled by a handful of billionaires. it's everything that's wrong with politics. and none of it is helping struggling families. here's my pledge to you. i'll keep our budget balanced. invest in affordable housing. fight for universal healthcare. and stand up to donald trump. as governor, you can trust me to do what's right- because i always have.
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( band playing ) ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: welcome back, everybody! give it up for jon batiste and stay human! oh, my goodness. now, folks, of all the people to be fired by donald trump, my guest tonight is definitely one of them. his new book is "a higher loyalty: truth, lies, and leadership." please welcome former f.b.i. director james comey. ♪ ♪ ( applause ) ♪ ♪
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>> stephen: thanks very much. ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: sir, thanks for being here. >> it's great to be here. thanks for having me. >> stephen: before we get started, you've done a lot of interviews. i do a lot of interviews. i just want you to know, i need loyalty. ( laughter ) i expect loyalty. can you give me that? ( laughter ) >> eat your shrimp scampi. >> stephen: was that over dinner? >> yes, it was over dinner. >> stephen: all right. well, all i ask from you is honesty tonight. i know that when you were fired, you say in the book that when it was over, you flew back on a plane to the east coast, drinking pinot noir out of a paper cup, so i thought maybe we could recreate that happy moment for you right now. ( cheers and applause ) there you go. to the truth.
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>> yes, to the truth. ( cheers and applause ) good. >> stephen: that's quite nice. okay, so i've seen your interview with george stephanopoulos on sunday night. you did-- how many hours did you talk to him? >> over five. >> stephen: five hours. and it was a one-hour special, and 22 minutes of it was the two of you talking. >> right. >> stephen: all right, i'm going to try to beat that tonight, all right? and so to keep the pace up, i don't usually look at my cards, but forgive me if i look at my cards tonight because there's so much to go over. i don't know if you know this, but you have a fascinating story to tell. first of all, you tell it in your new book, "a higher loyalty." i've read the book, something i don't generally do. ( laughter ) and it's-- i-- i-- even without knowing you, i want you to know, i like the author of this. he's telling fascinating stories about a life in the justice department and in criminal justice, and he's telling stories about what it means to be an ethical leader.
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why did you write this book? >> after i got fired, it occurred to both me and my wife, patrice, that a way i could be useful-- she's always trying to find ways for good to follow bad-- i could be useful by offering people a vision of what ethical leadership looks like, and show people through a series of stories how ethical leaders make hard decisions. and it would be particularly useful now when our president is not that. and so she and i talked about it and decided, yeah, i'll do that. that's a way to be useful. >> stephen: when you read the book, you talk about prosecuting john gotti, making the decision whether to go ahead with the prosecution of martha stewart, scooter libby, talking about confronting the bush administration about abu ghraib and about domestic surveillance. you can see-- you're a prosecutor. you're not just telling a story. you're laying out a case for your actions regarding hillary clinton and her investigation, and your run-ins with donald
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trump. it's a-- it's an indictment of donald trump in describing what an ethical leader is. do you think that he has-- i know you don't like the man-- but do you think he has an opportunity still to be an ethical leader? can he turn his presidency around in your eyes? >> i think it would be very hard given the way he is as a person. he is somebody who doesn't appear to have external reference points his life. ethical leaders make the hardest decisions by looking for some reference point. for some it is religious tradition, or history, or logic, or philosophy-- tradition. as far as i can tell, his reference point is entirely internal. what will fill the hole in me and get me the affirmation i need. so i think it would be very difficult. now, he could be a more ethical leader. he could surround himself maybe with people who could serve as those external reference points, but i wouldn't be optimistic, honestly. >> stephen: you describe him as being-- or the people around him, as having a mob, or a cosa nostra quality.
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what is it about him and the people around him that feels like a mob, which you prosecuted, to you? >> the leadership style is actually strikingly similar. and when this first popped in my head, i pushed it away, because i thought that's way too dramatic. how could that comparison be apt? and i don't mean it in the sense that donald trump is out breaking legs or shaking down shopkeepers, i mean it in the sense when he leads, it is all about the boss. what will serve the boss best? how are you helping the boss. it's all about that person, and nothing external to that, and that reminds me very much of the cosa nostra leadership. >> stephen: well, if you felt like you were working for a mob boss, were you surprised that you got whacked? ( laughter ) because that's what they do. >> i actually was quite surprised because i thought i'm leading the russia investigation. even though our relationship was becoming strained, there's no way i'm going to get fired or whacked. >> stephen: why? why wouldn't you get fired?
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>> because that would be a crazy thing to do. why would you fire the f.b.i. director who is leading the russia investigation? ( laughter ) >> stephen: because you're leading the russia investigation. ( laughter ) i don't know if you've dealt with mob bosses before, but they don't like to be investigated. >> yeah. >> stephen: are there things, you know-- i know you keep secrets and all that kind of stuff. but are there things that you know about the russia investigation that were happening before you were fired that we haven't learned yet as a public? >> yes. >> stephen: can you tell me what those are? ( laughter ) >> ( laughs ) no. >> stephen: no. okay. >> yeah, and they're not in the book. i had to have my book reviewed by the f.b.i. >> stephen: oh, really? >> to make sure it didn't include classified information or any sensitive investigative information. >> stephen: okay. >> so it's not in the book and i can't talk about it. >> stephen: okay. um... drink some more wine. ( laughter ) ( cheers and applause ) >> slainte. >> stephen: let's talk about the
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president for a second. you said as long as you're not making stuff up. the president has said some kind of fun things about you. ( laughter ) he has called you in the last few days, he has called you "slippery jim." ( laughter ) and he has called you a "slimeball." um... anything to say back? ( laughter ) >> no. he's tweeted at me probably 50 times. i've been gone for a year. i'm like a breakup he can't get over. he wakes up in the morning-- ( laughter ) ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: wow. >> i'm out there-- i'm out there living my best life. he wakes up in the morning and tweets at me. >> stephen: wow, wow. he needs to move on, huh? >> yeah, you would think so. >> stephen: maybe even move-- okay. >> my reaction is a shrug. >> stephen: what did you say? >> my first reaction to those kinds of tweets is a shrug, like, "there he goes again." but actually i caught myself and i said, wait a minute. if i'm shrugging, are the rest
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of the country shrugging? and does that mean we've become numb to this? it's not okay for the president of the united states to say a private citizen should be in jail. it's not normal. it's not acceptable. it's not okay. but it's happened so much, there's a danger we're now numb to it, and the norm has been destroyed. and i feel that norm destroying in my own shrug. and so we can't allow that to happen. we have to talk about it and call it out. it's not okay. >> stephen: well-- ( cheers and applause ) you-- he's not the only one who has called you names. chris wallace, talking about your book, called you "bitchy" because he was surprised about the-- you were talking about president trump's hair and his hand size and the fact that he looks so, sort of orange, when you see him. why did you include that?
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>> because i'm trying to be an author. ( laughter ) and i'm sitting there typing, and i can hear my editor saying, "bring the reader with you. show the reader that room." and so i say in there-- i talk about how i was struck by how skinny president obama is. i describe john ashcroft's skin color when he's in intensive care. i'm trying to bring the reader with me. i'm not trying to make fun of john ashcroft or barack obama or even donald trump. i'm trying to observe and report. >> stephen: are you surprised how much attention just that part of this has gotten? because i want to point out to everybody out there, people i know and respect or are interested in this book have said, "i don't know, it seems a little tawdry, the hair and the hands." it is one paragraph on page 217 into 218. it's probably six sentences. okay. ( laughter ) now it's out of the book. there's another 160 pages in here that are pretty good and pretty gripping. why do you think people are focusing just on that? >> because they haven't read the
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book, and they're looking to criticize the book and me, and so they're looking for a hand hold. and that was an easy hand hold. to my mind it's a silly hand hold, but it's something people grab on to and they can go on tv and talk about and haven't done what you have done, which is actually reading it. >> stephen: i thought you meant destroying it. ( laughter ) when you came out here, the audience applauded for you tonight. when i announced that you had been fired almost a year another the audience had a slightly different reaction. jim, play when i announced to the audience, who did not know you had been fired, because it happened in the middle of our show. i said to the audience-- show them the reaction. huge story that broke just minutes ago, like, less than ten minutes ago, f.b.i. director james comey has just been fired by donald trump. ( cheers ) wow, wow. huge, huge donald trump fans here tonight!
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have you made everyone in the world mad at you? i was a little shocked. i thought the audience would be shocked when i told them. but in fact they were overjoyed that even the man they don't like, president trump, had fired you, and i think because of what they perceived you had done to hillary clinton. >> yeah, i think that's a hangover from the clinton email nightmare. yeah, when that case began i knew we were going to piss off at least half of partisans. it never occurred to me we would piss off all of them. >> stephen: one of the people you worked with on the clinton investigation at the time said, "you know we're screwed." >> he actually said, "you know you're totally screwed." >> stephen: all right, we will go to commercial and when we come back i want to find out whether you feel you were screwed and why you made your decision. when we come back, more james comey. stick around. ♪ ♪
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[ sobs quietly ] ♪ ooh, heaven is a place on earth ♪ ♪ why don't you ♪ just meet me ♪ in the middle ♪ i'm losing ♪ my mind ♪ just a little ♪ so why don't you just ♪ meet me in the middle with pg&e in the sierras. and i'm an arborist since the onset of the drought, more than 129 million trees have died in california. pg&e prunes and removes over a million trees
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we're talking with former f.b.i. director james comey about his new book "a higher loyalty." now, before the break, i was asking about how people reacted to the two different actions you decided to take with regards to the investigation of hillary clinton's... email servers, her use of a private email server, and whether or not classified information had been shared illegally, and in any way security been compromised. the first thing you did was hold a... a-- what do you call it, a press conference. but did you take questions? >> no. >> stephen: okay, so you went out and made an announcement yourself as the head of the f.b.i. saying you had done an investigation and you found no grounds to prosecute hillary clinton, but that she had been extremely reckless, i believe were your words. >> careless. >> stephen: extremely careless. why did you do that? and why didn't you tell loretta lynch and the justice department you were going to do that?
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because no f.b.i. director had ever done that before. >> right, right. because it was the least-worst way to close the investigation and maintain public confidence that it was done in a competent, honest, and independent way. >> stephen: what do you mean "least worst?" >> well, there were a number of different ways to approach the end of that. the normal thing would have been we'd send, essentially, the substance of what i announced, we'd send it over to the justice department, and they would issue some sort of one-liner saying the matter is closed. my judgment-- which reasonable people can disagree about-- was that that would be disastrous for the department of justice, because there were a number of things that had happened leading up to the end of the investigation-- the most important at the end being that the attorney general announced she was not going to recuse herself after a meeting with bill clinton on an airplane, but she was going to accept my recommendation and that of the career prosecutors. and so my judgment was the public faith in the f.b.i. and the justice department is all we have. if we do the normal thing, corrosive doubt would creep in
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about whether it was done by the obama justice department in a competent, honest, and independent way. and i thought, if i make my announcement separate, it will maximize the chances that people have confidence in the result, rather than going-- i really like loretta lynch and respect her-- but to an attorney general, who reasonable people could see as compromised in that situation. and so i made that judgment, something very unusual, i had never heard of it before, but i had never heard of the f.b.i. investigating one of the two candidates for president of the united states during the election year, and decided that was the best chance we had of closing it in a credible way. >> stephen: what was the consideration to telling congress, sending a letter to congress saying that you were reopening the investigation into hillary clinton's emails after anthony weiner's laptop was found to have 100,000 emails on it. what was that-- what was the rationale there? because, again, the norm and the standard was that the f.b.i. does not discuss anything having to do with a political campaign
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60 days out from the election. >> that's not true, though. >> stephen: it's not? >> the 60-day thing, i don't know where that comes from. but there's a really important norm that i believe in entirely- - you take no action-- if you can avoid it-- that might have an impact on any election, dog catcher or president of the united states. >> stephen: you had to imagine this would have an effect. >> absolutely, absolutely. which is why when the team told me there were hundreds of thousands of hillary clinton emails on anthony weiner's laptop, for reasons i couldn't possibly explain at the time-- >> stephen: i can explain it. ( laughter ) >> okay. but not just that, which many missed, there were thousands of emails from her blackberry.net domain, which is what she used her first three months as secretary of state. and you'll remember, the reason there was no case there is there was no evidence of wrongful intent on her part. she was sloppy, but there's n evidence she knew-- >> stephen: unlike petraeus, say-- >> correct. >> stephen: who gave up classified notebooks to his lover and allowed her to take photographs of them in a state of mortal sin, in that he knew what he was doing.
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>> and then he lied about it which made clear he knew what he was doing. he was director of the c.i.a., for heaven's sake. she looked like someone who wasn't attentive to security, didn't know technology well, but if there was going to be a smoking gun, where someone said, "hey, you can't do this," or, "you ought to stop what you're doing," it would be in the beginning. so the team said on october 27, there are hundreds of thousands of her emails on anthony weiner's laptop and there are thousands of emails from the missing blackberry.net domain. this could change the outcome of the investigation. and so at that point, what do you do? take no action if you can avoid it. and i kept looking for a door that said, "no action here," and i can't find it. i could only see two doors and they were both actions. one said "speak," and the other says "conceal." speaking would be really bad-- >> stephen: well, conceal naturally has a pejorative to it, it's speak or standard discretion of the f.b.i. it's not the same thing as concealing. >> yeah, i disagree, though.
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if we hadn't spoken, loretta lynch and i had not announced to the american people in testimony during the summer and in my statement and other things, we're done. you can move on here, american people. there's no "there" there. if that hadn't happened, sure you'd have the option of saying nobody knows about this so we'll keep it quiet. but having spoken repeatedly-- my view, and people can disagree about this-- would be that to not speak would be an affirmative act of concealment. i knew that something we had told the american people they could rely upon was not true, and not true in a huge way-- not some silly way-- hundreds of thousands of emails on anthony weiner's computer. and the f.b.i. team said, "no way, boss, we can review this before the election." so, what do you do? speaking would be really bad. concealing would be catastrophic. in my judgment, again, people can see it differently. so as between really bad and catastrophic, it's not that hard a call. you have got to do the really bad thing. >> stephen: one is bad immediately, one is possibly bad later, which sounds like
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pascal's wager to me. so, you were weighing a certainty that it's bad now with maybe people would be upset later. >> i didn't see it as a maybe. >> stephen: let me ask you another question-- we have to take a little commercial break here but let me ask you this. my wife called me the minute that this came out that you were announcing that you were reopening the investigation. you sent the letter to congress, congress leaked it, we know, 11 days out. she called me and said, "that's it, it's over, her campaign is dead." and i said, "no, no, no, it will be fine. this isn't going to have an effect." which of us do you think was right? ( laughter ) >> i honestly don't know. i pray that you're right. it makes me sick to my stomach to think we might have had an impact. i hope and pray we didn't. but i hope this doesn't sound strange. it wouldn't change the decision. if you traveled back to october 28, you can't see the future, what do you do? and-- >> stephen: you get back in the time machine, go back another 70 years and kill baby hitler. but then-- ( laughter )
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then you come back to october and you don't release the emails. >> yeah, yeah. >> stephen: we have to take a little break. when we come back, i want to talk about russia, and the president asking you about the pee pee tape, when you telling him about it and him talking to you about that, all right? can we do that? >> you can call it that. ( laughter ) >> stephen: i will! ( applause ) we'll be right back with more james comey. ♪ ♪ every day, you're thankful for the ones you love. and every day you promise to protect them. off! is here to help with proven protection against mosquitoes. trust our family to protect yours. sc johnson, a family company take an extra $10 off wheny you spend $25 or more! get swimwear for the family, starting at $15.99! flip flops - just $9.99 beach towels - $14.99! and this weekend you'll get $5 kohl's cash for every $25 spent! kohl's! find thenah.ote yet?
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ari'm jeff bleich. preventing violence has long been my cause. in the face of senseless violence, we need hope. after columbine, i led president clinton's youth violence commission. i joined joe biden to reduce domestic violence, helping boys become men. i beat the nra in court, defending gun laws that save lives. today, a new generation is rising, and this is our moment. in the streets and in the capitol, i'll stand with them. jeff bleich. democrat for lieutenant governor. mr. elliot, what's your wifiwifi?word? wifi's ordinary. basic. do i look basic? nope! which is why i have xfinity xfi. it's super fast and you can control every device in the house. "hey!" let's basement. and thanks to these xfi pods, the signal reaches down here too. so sophie, i have an xfi password.
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and it's "daditude". simple. easy. awesome. xfinity. the future of awesome. ♪ ♪ ( applause ) >> stephen: folks, we're back here with former f.b.i. director james comey. he's got a great new book, "a higher loyalty: truth, lies, and leadership. i read it, it's really good. don't read 217-218 if you don't want to hear about the hands and the hair. okay, let's do a quick lightning round. we only have a few minute here. you went in, in january of 2017 to tell president trump about the steele dossier. how did you tell him that there was a-- and i want to put this delicately-- pee pee tape. ( laughter ) how did you tell him about that rumor? >> i spoke about information, unverified, that related to an allegation that he was with prostitutes in a hotel in moscow, and that the russians
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had videotaped it. i didn't go into the rest of it. i thought that was notice enough. >> stephen: so you didn't mention the salacious detail of the two prostitutes getting up on the bed that the obamas had stayed in-- because it was the presidential suite-- and, you know, engaging in some water play. you didn't-- you didn't-- you didn't mention that at all. ( laughter ) >> i thought i served enough notice without going to that part. >> stephen: okay. and what did he say when you told him about it? >> he denied it-- he interrupted me and denied it in pretty strong terms, and asked, i assumed rhetorically, did he look like a guy who needed the services of hookers. >> stephen: yes. ( laughter ) ( applause ) okay, let's keep on going. because, look, i want to be delicate here, but he lo a microwave circus peanut that sookmeone s rubbed on a kegolden retriever. ( laughter ) by the way, i went to that room- - just so you know, the people out there know-- i actually went to that room. i stayed at the ritz-carlton moscow. we rented that room. which is really all you need to
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do. now, you're an investigator, did anyone from your office ever go to that hotel and look at that room? >> not while i was director. >> stephen: okay. i don't know anyone from the press who went. you're an investigator. would you like to ask me anything about that room? ask me anything about that room. >> is it big enough for the-- a germaphobe to be at a safe distance from the activity. >> stephen: the bedroom is very long, it's very long. you definitely be out of at what we call in sea world, "the splash zone." ( laughter ) okay, all right? do you wish you were in there as part of this investigation? you've always been a guy who is in the know, and now you have to guess like the rest of us. do you wish you were in there on the team? >> i do. i miss the people and the mission. i don't miss some of the political types, but i miss being with the people of the f.b.i. and the justice department. >> stephen: and when you were being interviewed by george stephanopoulos, he asked you about impeachment. and you said you don't think that impeachment is really the
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answer here, that that would be a mistake, and that "americans shouldn't be let off the hook through impeachment," they should go vote this man out and take responsibility. that sounds a little bit like you're blaming the voters for the predicament we're in right now. do you? >> well, maybe partly. and i mostly blame those who haven't voted. >> stephen: did you vote? >> no, i was the f.b.i. director. >> stephen: are you going to vote in 2020? >> yes, i will. but-- but-- ( applause ) what i meant by the impeachment comment is-- look, the law and the facts will drive whether there's an impeachment process. what i was saying to george stephanopoulos was, in a way, that would short circuit a moment we need. we need a moment of clarity and reflection in this country. i hope people get off the couch, get out of their busy lives and say the value our leadership matters and more than policy disputes, more than the rest of
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it, we stand for something in this country, and we need to send a signal that we know that and we treasure it. >> stephen: what's after this? how do we get past this moment? i think back to lincoln's second aul inouw country will come together after the civil war. and while we're not in a civil war, we're in a terribly divided time. how do you think we come to agreement after all of this about what our shared values are? >> by everybody participating in that conversation. and i write in the end of the book, i hope an optimistic note, that although i see donald trump as a forest fire, he will do great damage to our norms, forest fires allow things to grow that couldn't grow before. i see kids getting energized. it's inspiring to see kids in the wake of parkland out there getting involved. i see all parts of civil society, the media, the courts, even congress starting to get off its rear end. i see parts of this country being energized that haven't been energized since, frankly, the last great forest fire, which was watergate.
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and so i'm optimistic that this country's values are strong enough that we will not only survive this, we will thrive and rebalance ours in the wake of this. >> stephen: mr. comey, thank you so much for being here. ( applause ) i really enjoy talking to you. "a higher loyalty" is available now. it's worth reading. james comey, everybody. we'll be right back with jason aldean. thank you, sir. can you love wearing powerful sunscreen? yes! neutrogena® ultra sheer. unbeatable protection helps prevent early skin aging and skin cancer with a clean feel. the best for your skin. ultra sheer®. neutrogena®. i thought i was managing my moderate to severe ulcerative colitis.
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♪ like a rainy sunday morning makes me wanna stay in bed ♪ twisted up all day long you're my inspiration, girl ♪ you take me places put the words right ♪ into these songs stealing kisses ♪ under cover, babe see forever ♪ when i see your face and i swear god made you for me ♪ you make it easy loving up on you ♪ make it easy with every little thing you do ♪ you're my sunshine in the darkest days ♪ my better half my saving grace ♪ you make me who i want to be ♪ you make it easy
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you took all my rough ♪ around the edges never let it ruffle ♪ up your feathers, angel yeah, i'm down for life ♪ you got me wrapped around your finger ♪ and i like it just in case you can't tell ♪ you make it easy loving up on you ♪ make it easy with every little thing you do ♪ you're my sunshine in the darkest days ♪ my better half my saving grace ♪ you make me who i want to be ♪ you make it easy ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪ stealing kisses under cover, babe ♪ see forever when i see your face ♪ and i swear god made you for me ♪ you make it easy loving up on you ♪ make it easy with every little thing you do ♪ you're my sunshine in the darkest days ♪ my better half my saving grace ♪ you make me who i want to be ♪ you make it easy ♪ ♪ ♪ you make it easy ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: thank you, jason! jason aldean, everybody, we'll be right back. ( cheers and applause )
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only marshall tuck will change that. year after year, policians fail to improve public schools. tuck turned around failing schools, raising graduation rates 60%. marshall tuck for state superintendent. marshall tuck. ♪ whatever it is that floats your boat... ...or tickles your tastebuds... ♪ ...or brightens your day... ♪ ...even if you've never tried it before... ♪ ...just know that... you can, in portland.
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we can now simulate the exact anatomyh care, of a patient's brain before surgery. if we can do that, imagine what we can do for seizures. and if we can fix damaged heart valves without open heart surgery, imagine what we can do for an irregular heartbeat, even high blood pressure. if we can use analyze each patient's breast cancer to personalize their treatment, imagine what we can do for the conditions that affect us all. imagine what we can do for you. >> stephen: that's it for "the late show," everybody. goodnight!
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captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org ♪ are you ready y'all to have some fun ♪ feel the love tonight don't you worry ♪ where it is you come from it'll be all right ♪ it's the late, late show
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>> reggie: ladies and gentlemen, all the way from inside a giant submarine, give it up for your host, the one, the only james

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