Stephen Colbert Gets His Turn to Ask Rex Tillerson if Putin Is a War Criminal


This week during the confirmation hearing of Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State designate, Florida senator Marco Rubio made a big show of asking tough questions about Vladimir Putin being a war criminal. Rubio pushed Tillerson hard on the claim, attempting to get a cogent answer in light of the Russian president’s behavior around the world; Tillerson — as well as his Texas pal Ted Cruz — balked at the suggestion, instead indicating a more comprehensive assessment would be needed.

So as part of his cold open on Thursday night, The Late Show‘s Stephen Colbert got in on the fun, posing as a committee member asking Tillerson the question too. “Given what Vladimir Putin has done in Chechnya, Syria, and the Ukraine, let me ask you this simple question: is Vladimir Putin a war criminal?” he asked.

Tillerson’s responses from his actual hearing were edited into the bit. “I wouldn’t use that term,” he replied.

“What term would you use?” Colbert countered. “Shaved vampire? That painting from Ghostbusters II, but with man boobs?”

If the premise of the sketch seems a bit too far out, you might recall that in 2010 Colbert himself actually did give a statement to the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship and Border Security.

“I reject this idea that farm work is among the semi-mythical jobs that Americans won’t do,” he said at the time. CNN’s Dana Bash (and Colbert Report head writer Opus Moreschi) can be seen in the background.

Watch above via CBS and C-SPAN.

[image via screengrab]

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