President Donald Trump is taking responsibility for the recent ratings surge of “no-talent guy” Stephen Colbert.
In a Monday interview with Time reporters, Trump said Colbert’s “Late Show” was “dying” and on the verge of cancellation until the comedian stepped up his ridicule of the White House, “and he started doing better.”
He also alluded to the Second City alum’s recent bawdy barrage of zingers about Trump, including a gag suggesting the president and Russia’s Vladimir Putin engage in oral sex.
“You see a no-talent guy like Colbert,” Trump said. “There’s nothing funny about what he says. And what he says is filthy. And you have kids watching. And it only builds up my base. It only helps me, people like him.”
While Trump jokes are a fixture of Colbert’s monologue, that night the comic was especially harsh as a show of vengeance following Trump’s insults of his CBS colleague John Dickerson in a televised interview that morning. Offended Trump loyalists launched a #FireColbert campaign on social media; Colbert declined to apologize but later said he wished he had changed “a few words that were cruder than they needed to be.”
While on the subject of Colbert, Trump seized the moment to recall his 2015 campaign stop on “Late Show,” declaring with his usual braggadocio that the result was “the highest rating he’s ever had.”
His TV criticism wasn’t limited to the CBS host. Trump also offered a long critique of the cable news channels and especially CNN, claiming that morning anchor Chris Cuomo is so hateful he’s “like a boiler ready to explode” and evening anchor Don Lemon is “perhaps the dumbest person in broadcasting.”