Midway through his interview with Donald Trump (which aired last night on The Late Show), Stephen Colbert apologized for everything he’s said about Trump over the years. “I’ve said some things that are, in polite company, unforgivable,” Colbert says — at which point Trump interjects, suggesting that he’s also said some nice things. Colbert then assures him that, no, he hasn’t, then asks if there’s “anyone he’d like to apologize to,” as a segue into immigration.
Such was the general mood of Colbert’s discussion with Trump — subtly critical, but cordial enough to make Trump comfortable talking about his policy, which here seemed predominantly architectural. “We have to have a wall, we have to have a border, and in the wall, we have to have a big fat door,” says Trump, who of course has also erected a couple of other colossal structures of intimidation in his day. He then goes on to fantasize, again, about the Great Wall of China: “We can have a great and beautiful wall… and we stop crime and we stop problems.” Because emulating a structure originally built to serve the population in 206 B.C. (and again during the 14th century) will surely usher in progress.
Though Colbert continued to lightly jab Trump, it never escalated to the blowout some might have expected (for example, when Trump compared the American debt situation to Greece, instead of further pressing him, Colbert turned his critique to dairy, saying, “I don’t like feta cheese”). It was so oddly pleasant that at one point, Trump said, “I like this guy.” Of course, Colbert still managed to use selective diction to assert his disapproval, saying, “I’m liking you too…. because the Republican party has been pushing the idea that money is speech — and you’re a 10 billion dollar mouth.”
Watch the interview: