Video: Stephen Colbert Takes a Turn Questioning William Barr—'Mind-Bendingly Bizarre'

The Late Show host Stephen Colbert laid into Attorney General William Barr in his show's opening skit on Wednesday night, cutting together Barr's Senate Judiciary Committee testimony with some of his own questions.

The spoof had Colbert crash Wednesday's hearing, held to discuss new revelations regarding the attorney general's handing of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election.

Colbert opens the introduction by interrupting Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, jumping in and asking, "Excuse me, excuse me, Mr. Chairman. Can I ask a question?" was just looking for the salad bar, and I wandered in here."

Addressing the room, Colbert asks, "Has anyone in this room deceived the American people?" A clip of Barr from Wednesday's hearing is then shown, with the attorney general standing with his hand raised. "Good to know," Colbert replies.

"Now, much of the report has been redacted, sir. When do you plan on unredacting all of it?" Colbert then began. An edited clip of Barr answering showed a hand from off-screen holding a black bar over his mouth, while his speech is bleeped out. "Did you just redact yourself?" Colbert then asked.

"Are there any reasons we should trust you at all?" the host continued. "None that I'm aware of," Barr replied.

The attorney general—nominated by President Donald Trump in December and confirmed in February—has been accused of misrepresenting the Mueller report to protect the president. The special counsel filed his report on March 22, after which Barr released a four-page summary of what he said were the main findings. Barr eventually bowed to Democratic pressure and released a redacted copy of the full 448-page report on April 18.

Barr's initial memo stated that the report found no evidence of conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign, its associates and Russia to influence the election. It also suggested that Mueller did not draw a conclusion on whether Trump had committed obstruction of justice. But On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that Mueller wrote to Barr to complain that the attorney general's summary did not reflect the context, nature, and substance" of the investigation.

In response, multiple Democratic lawmakers demanded that Barr resign, accusing him of failing to properly discharge his duties as an impartial head of the Department of Justice. Prominent Democrats—including several on the Senate Judiciary Committee—echoed calls for Barr's resignation or impeachment following Wednesday's hearing.

"You're supposed to be the impartial attorney general for the United States," Colbert continued in his Wednesday evening spoof. "How much of your summary—the letter you sent to Congress—was just a partisan support for the president?"

In several clips edited together, Barr first replied "two percent," but under continued questioning increased the number to "10 percent" and finally "98 percent." As the audience laughed, Colbert added, "That sounds about right."

Finishing up his questioning of the attorney general, Colbert asked Barr how he would describe his tenure thus far. "Mind-bendingly bizarre," Barr answered.

The final word in the skit went to Graham, who Colbert asked to describe Barr. "He is a f****** idiot," Graham replied. The clip was from Wednesday's hearing when Graham read out a text between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

GettyImages-1140546250
Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 1, 2019 in Washington, D.C. Win McNamee/Getty Images
Video: Stephen Colbert Takes a Turn Questioning William Barr—'Mind-Bendingly Bizarre' | U.S.