Stephen Colbert and Tucker Carlson debate whether Donald Trump or the Republican Party put him in the White House

Stephen Colbert asked, “Do you have an opinion on Trump?” As it turns out, Tucker Carlson does, but he wants to keep it to himself. “You can ask my opinion, Stephen, but don’t tell…

Stephen Colbert and Tucker Carlson debate whether Donald Trump or the Republican Party put him in the White House

Stephen Colbert asked, “Do you have an opinion on Trump?” As it turns out, Tucker Carlson does, but he wants to keep it to himself.

“You can ask my opinion, Stephen, but don’t tell anyone,” Mr. Carlson said as he sat down with Mr. Colbert for a segment in which the two television personalities engaged in playful back-and-forth.

“Excuse me, but, well, really, Donald Trump did not run the Republican Party,” Mr. Colbert responded. “For one thing, he wasn’t very good at it.”

“No,” Mr. Carlson replied. “Donald Trump did not run the Republican Party — he did not run the Republican Party. The Republican Party ran Donald Trump. The Republican Party — the Republican Party held the Republican National Convention, voted to nominate Donald Trump, that’s the Republican Party that Donald Trump is the presidential nominee of.”

“So this is the Republican Party and it’s a better party than it was before, but I don’t care if Donald Trump is the president,” Mr. Colbert said. “I really don’t.”

“There’s nothing I care more about than America — America is what the people think about it, not you,” Mr. Carlson said. “It’s a fundamentally different country than it was two years ago, and as good as it is getting back into some basic values is not really a measure of what the country should be, what America is. I was born in Philadelphia, he was born in New York. He’s an intellectual, I’m a working stiff. We never had a better country run by worse people, but that doesn’t necessarily matter.”

He then gave a freewheeling answer to other questions from the audience, asking what happens when people start to feel empathetic to a stranger’s plight, as Colbert had done. (Mr. Carlson: “If they start to feel empathetic to the color you’re wearing, you know, if they start to feel like, Well, maybe this is an aspiration that I can aspire to, than they’re asking for you to change who you are. And I can’t change who I am, so I’m not interested in changing.”)

He also fielded a child’s question: “What happened to our country?”

“Nothing happened to it,” Mr. Carlson replied. “It’s a good country, it’s growing better, it’s healthier and everybody’s doing fine.”

He then turned to Colbert to ask him a question about the recent controversy over Meghan Markle and her father: “Do you think the father of the bride was — how much did the family abuse him?”

Mr. Colbert’s response: “I do, because I know that he was the wedding planner, he was heavily involved, and he was like, ‘Okay, Megan’s feeling this way. Do you think that’s going to be OK, Daddy?’ … They’re saying he’s prepared and he’s walking her down the aisle, and then he just stopped suddenly to decide he doesn’t want to do it.”

“How did you say that?” Mr. Carlson asked.

“In his note, he says in the note that he was going to do it and he’s changed his mind,” Mr. Colbert responded. “The note says in the note, ‘Donald, I’ve decided not to walk her down the aisle.’”

“And I don’t know how that worked,” Mr. Carlson said.

“It did,” Mr. Colbert said. “It didn’t work.”

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