tv The Late Show With Stephen Colbert CBS June 3, 2022 11:35pm-12:37am PDT
thanks for >> governor brian kemp, the winner of the republican nomination for governor in georgia. he has defeated former senator david perdue. brian kemp was supported by vice president mike pence. david perdue, of course, was supported by former president trump. >> we'll look at whether this is laying the groundwork for a trump-versus-pence race in 2024. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> coming in 2024 to c-span, the republican primary debates. see all the action when the former president's one-time biggest fan debates with the former president's current biggest fan. >> president donald trump is xenophobic. >> thank you, and i appreciate that. >> my christian faith became real for me when i made a personal decision for christ. >> wrong.
i'm the least racist person in this room. >> not true. >> definitely not true. >> they'll make their case for their return to the white house. >> i would like to go back. >> but you were there just a short time ago, and you guys did nothing. >> and explain why after bungling covid and insurrection and two impeachments, things will be better this time. ( crickets chirping ) >> the 2024 republican primary debates on c-span. c-span: we're just two years away from people watching us again. >> announcer: it's "the late show with stephen colbert." tonight: see something, do something. plus, stephen welcomes: michael che and admiral james stavridis featuring jon batiste and stay human. and now, live on tape from the
ed sullivan theater in new york city, it's stephen colbert! ( cheers and applause ) ( band playing ) >> stephen: i was late. i'm sorry. i was late. i was late. i was late. i missed-- good to see you. hey, how's it going? hi, happy-- happy with-- please have a seat, everybody. thank you very much. very kind. welcome one, welcome all to "the late show." i'm your host, stephen colbert. ( cheers and applause ) lovely to be in here with all of these beautiful people here this evening. you out there, i've never met most of you out watching the show out in tv land. but i'm guessing, like me, you're still trying to process yesterday's mass shooting in
uvalde, texas. if you're heartbroken and you're frustrated, you're not alone. americans have witnessed gun tragedy after gun tragedy, and while it can be argued there are many reasons. we all know the biggest reason for the tragedy is the gun. and right now, the united states has approximately 400 million firearms, which is more than 40% of the total guns in the entire world. that stat is even more harrowing considering we have 100% of the world's floridas. ( laughter ) now, there's a simple, if extremely difficult, solution: reduce the number of guns. we've done it before, and it worked and joe biden knows that. >> when we passed the assault weapons ban, mass shootings went down. when the law expired, mass shootings tripled. >> stephen: that's not complicated. if there's less of something that is built to kill people, fewer people will be killed with that thing. that's why these days, you see
so few mass catapult attacks. ( laughter ) now, there are things congress can do right now. congress just refuses to do them. for instance, the senate could pass h.r.-8, a bill that was passed by the house over a year ago, which would close loopholes in the background checks law. it's being held up by senate republicans, possibly. because background checks are supported by only 90% of voters. 90%! the only thing more popular than background checks is dolly parton riding a giant corgi bringing you free ice cream. ( cheers and applause ) and birthday sex... with free ice cream. one man's frustration erupted on camera earlier today. texas governor greg abbott and his lieutenant governor held a press conference to discuss the shooting. about 15 minutes in, they were interrupted by abbott's gubernatorial rival, beto o'rourke. >> at this time, i will pass the mic to lieutenant governor dan
patrick >> governor, i'd like to have a conversation with you. >> excuse me. excuse me. >> the time to have stopped this was after santa fe high school-- >> sit down. >> you're out of line and an embarrassment. >> --was after el paso-- >> sit down and don't play this stuff. >> the time to stop the next shooting is right now! and you are doing nothing! >> stephen: that's not true, beto. they're not doing nothing. they're yelling at you for pointing out that they're doing nothing. ( cheers and applause ) some people-- you, maybe, you might call this a stunt. but all he's doing is calling bull ( bleep ) on their lie. the lie that they'll do anything that might upset the gun lobby that lines their pockets. another liar on that stage getting yelled at by beto was texas attorney general ken paxton. he went on the fox news last night and pinched out this gem: >> we can't stop bad people from doing bad things. they are going to violate murder laws.
they're not going to follow gun laws. i've never understood that argument. >> stephen: i've got to say, "laws are pointless," is a bold position for the attorney general. ( laughter ) i think he just announced the purge. but perhaps-- ( cheers and applause ) but perhaps the "nothingest nothing" that was ever nothinged came from georgia congresswoman marjorie taylor greene, seen here with her loved one and her husband. shortly after the shooting, greene tweeted, "our nation needs to take a serious look at the state of mental health today." i agree-- starting with georgia's 14th district. ( laughter ) now, it's not fair to say republicans have absolutely no solutions. they actually have some pretty bad solutions, like this one: >> one of the things that you've talked about is arming teachers. is that a possibility in texas? >> i absolutely think it's a possibility. i think that's something that
should be done. >> stephen: come on. a teacher's job is not to use a gun. it's to teach and to rap about shakespeare. ♪ i'm mr. smith and i'm here to say ♪ caesar got stabbed et tu brute? ♪ ( cheers and applause ) ( bouncy rap beat ) ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ it's not just the teachers who these cowardly dipsticks think should be armed. >> there are individuals who are unpaid volunteers who would be happy to volunteer their time to go safeguard schools. >> to me it's a simple solution. we have retired military, retired law enforcement. that i am sure we can come up with a way to ensure that every child and every school is protected with on-site armed trained officers. >> there is no reason why we can't put retired police
officers, ex-military, and put them at least in every school. >> stephen: yes, that is their brilliant answer to our epidemic of gun violence: arm the seniors. they shouldn't be hard to find. they're all members of the "aar-15." but-- ( applause ) but more guns aren't the only terrible solution republicans are offering up. here's former n.y.p.d. detective pat brosnan on ”hannity" last night. >> we need to install man traps, man traps-- a series of interlocking doors at the school entrance that are triggered by a tripwire. the tripwire can be a gunshot, broken glass. a manual switch tossed by a school employee, and it traps the shooter like a rat. it's tripwires. it's man traps. >> stephen: ( as brosnan ) "yes, it's tripwires. it's man traps. it's stairs covered in tiny toy cars. it's crushed up christmas ornaments on the floor. it's hot irons on pulleys that
swing and hit the bad guys on the face. it's cardboard cutouts dancing in front of the windows. i saw it all in that documentary with joe pesci." ( laughter ) ( cheers and applause ) of course, if our elected leaders won't do anything about gun violence, we're obviously going to need to elect new leaders. and that process is already underway with the midterm primaries. last night, there were some big results, including georgia democrats making their pick for governor: stacey abrams. ( cheers and applause ) yeah, yeah. abrams, of course, is famous for her years of grassroots organizing in georgia, around the country, and most recently, in the united federation of planets! she's fighting for voting rights for everyone, no matter how many
forehead bulges your skull has! ( laughter ) sure, we've got some ferengi fans around there. last night just wasn't just about winners. it was really about rubbing it in the face of one giant loser: former president, "the wrath of con." because in the g.o.p. primary, he went all-in on former senator david perdue. despite a full-jowled endorsement from the ex-prez, perdue got his ass handed to him by incumbent governor and beef jerky on zoloft, brian kemp. and it wasn't even close. kemp peach-stomped perdue by over 50 points. ( cheers and applause ) this-- sure. this was a total embarrassment for the ex-prez. even more so because the candidate who destroyed his guy was mike pence's pick. oh, oh, you know pence celebrated with his trademark victory dance: "avert your eyes, mother.
i am clenching to the rhythm." ( laughter ) ( laughter and applause ) but that wasn't the end of the losing, because the ex-prez picked losers up and down the ballot. for example, the former prez picked a candidate to take down his old nemesis, georgia secretary of state brad raffensperger, seen here being less interesting than an out-of- focus bell. ( laughter ) raffensperger famously pushed back when the dingus-in-chief called him during the 2020 election, demanding he "find" enough votes to overturn his loss in georgia. well, last night, raffensperger absolutely creamed the ex-president's guy, beating him by 20 points. good news, mr. president. ( applause ) good news, he finally found
those votes. now, the ex-prez didn't lay a total goose egg last night. he got one win in the georgia senate primary, thanks to candidate herschel walker. walker has to tread a fine line between holding onto the ex-prez's endorsement and not getting any of the, "stop the steal" crazy on him, as you can see in this interview: >> one of the things that certainly motivated president trump in giving endorsements to various candidates has been whether or not they accept his claim the election was stolen. do you think the election was stolen? >> well, i don't think-- you-- i think reporters said that. i don't know whether president trump said that. he's never said that to me. >> i'm not arguing-- >> herschel, he says it over and over again, please. >> no, no, no, no. i've never heard president trump ever say that. >> stephen: now, technically-- come on, technically he's right. i've never heard him say it. i've only heard him scream it, tweet it, and one time, fart it in morse code. ( laughter ) we've got a great show for you tonight. my guests are michael che and admiral james stavridis.
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>> stephen: welcome back, everybody! give it up for the band! say hello to stay human, everybody! welcome back. my goodness. oh, my goodness. >> yes, yes, yes upon. >> stephen: louis, louis, in just a moment here, from "saturday night live," michael che is going to be out here. a very funny young man. ( applause ) briefly from "the daily show" actually. also, briefly from "the daily show," people forget that. and former supreme allied commander of nato, admiral james stavridis is going to be out here in just a moment. we'll talk about what's going on in europe right now. ( applause ) interesting one-two punch for guests. but i understand you have a special guest joining the band tonight. please introduce your friend. >> oh, my gosh. we have tivon pennicott on the tenor saxophone. ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: tivon, thank you for
being here. folks, i love space. fun fact: it's where my planet is, and i also love telling you all about the latest off-earth developments in my long-running segment: ( echoing ) >> space news! ♪ ♪ ♪ >> 'sup? ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: first up on space news: ( echoing ) billionaires in space. ( mechanical humming ) last month, this gaggle of billionaires paid to go to the international space station. but, apparently, the billionaires weren't expecting to work so hard on the i.s.s. oh, these clowns. i would love to have been there for the moment that dawned on them. ( as billionaire ) "yeah, hi, i specifically requested a noise-canceling helmet? what's that? what do you want me to do? hose out the poop tube?
that was not in the brochure." ( laughter ) now, keep in mind, we already have billionaires who are so billioned up that they own their own space programs, while these guys had to pay $55 million for a seat on a shuttle. so now it's official: we now have space coach class. perfect for anyone who thought, "i love being in a crowded cabin with no legroom, but i wish when i barfed it would float around my head." so what was the specific space work the billionaires had to do? it was experiments on holoportation, human cells, and high-precision optical lenses. but being that it was their first time in space, and that they are neither professional astronauts nor researchers, some of the experiments ended up taking quite a lot longer than anticipated. well, yeah. qualifications come in handy. that's why you never get in the dentist chair and hear, "hi, i'll be extracting one of those big chompy ones today, but i've never been to 'tooth school,' or whatever. i paid 20 grand to play with the
drill. now, let me stab your mouth with this drug dart." ( laughter ) next up: ( echoing ) doorway-on-mars news! ( laughter ) ( mechanical humming ) ( door slams ) ( boing! ) ( laughter ) you heard right. nasa's curiosity rover spotted what appears to be a "doorway" on mars, and here's what it looks like: amazing! wait a second. jimmy, can we zoom in on that? a valpak! they're relentless! now, this looks very mysterious and exciting, but nasa warns that though it looks like the entrance to an alien tomb, mission scientists say it's a natural feature. come on, don't just dismiss it out of hand. aren't you even a little tomb- curious? this mars door could be the final resting place of the careers of whoever made john carter. ( laughter ) next-- really, really, big fans of john carter? really? you all are in this theater tonight?
( laughter ) next up: ( echoing ) space sex! ( mechanical humming ) ( glass squeaks ) ( laughter ) the term "space probe" is about to get new meaning, because scientists say we really have to talk about boning in space. ( laughter ) because in space, everyone can hear you scream... if you're doing it right. ( laughter ) according to experts, we should be embracing "space sexology" as a new discipline of study, because if we ever want to become interplanetary, we should know how to boink in microgravity, or if it's even possible. because having sex in microgravity is hard-- especially finding the zero-g spot. ( laughter ) you guys are taking the space news pretty hard tonight. aww...
next up: ( echoing ) space shopping! ( jets ) a new company named "inversion" is building earth-orbiting capsules to deliver goods anywhere in the world from outer space. here's a prototype of said capsule. amazing! that's the kind of highly advanced delivery technology usually reserved for room service chicken fingers. ( laughter ) and, there could be a medical application. the company's founders imagine the capsules could store artificial organs that are delivered to an operating room. which sounds great, until you learn that capsule would deploy a parachute and land within a radius of tens of miles from its target location. ( as nurse ) "doctor, he's flatlining." ( as doctor ) "don't worry, nurse, the new heart just touched down within tens of miles. help me drag this guy into an uber." we'll be right back with michael che. ( cheers and applause ) ( band playing )
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he created and stars in the sketch comedy series, "that damn michael che," which returns tomorrow for its second season. please welcome to "the late show," that damn michael che. ( band playing ) ( cheers and applause ) >> oh, that's so cool! >> stephen: hey. ( cheers and applause ) >> do you tell them to get that excited? >> stephen: yeah. nice to have you on. >> it's great to be here. thank you so much for having me. >> stephen: first time i've had a chance to sit down with you, but not your first time in this theater. i understand you made your television debut on this stage. is that true? >> that's right, i did standup
on "letterman" in 2012, yeah. ( applause ) >> stephen: wow, that's a big ten years. now, so, tell me about that. i remember the first time i got a call to be on dave. >> i remember it was during hurricane sandy. >> stephen: okay, yeah. >> and i had no power. i was living in jersey city. i had no power, no electricity, no anything, and i didn't know i was supposed to do it. they called my best friend who lived, like, 30 minutes away, because he had a phone. and he drove to my house, knocked on my window, and was like, "they want you to do 'letterman' tomorrow." and i was like, "this isn't funny." ( laughter ) >> stephen: but they knew to call your best friend? >> they knew to call them, because my manager was-- they were trying to find somebody in jersey city that could find me. >> stephen: wow, okay. >> i went and i stayed in a hotel. and i didn't have any clothes or anything. >> stephen: it was not easy to get around. people forget. like, it was not easy to get in and out of the city or anything. >> no, we had to drive-- we had to, like, pick up a hitchhiker. >> stephen: it was only high
occupancy in the city. >> that's right. it was me and my boy. so, we were driving around like, "does anybody want to drive into the city with us." >> stephen: "hey, ladies." >> some guy was with a kid and he goes, "i'll get in." i was like, "you should not do that." he got in with a six-year-old and we drove to the city. we went to saks, i got a blazer. >> stephen: i have the photo. i have the photo. you, you didn't bring this from home, you had to buy this? >> no, that was about 40 pounds ago. >> stephen: which way? >> oh, that way. no... ( laughter ) i remember i went to saks, and i was like "i'm going to 'letterman' and i'd like to look great," and she gave me a $3,000 gucci jacket, and so we walked across the street to h&m... ( laughter and applause ) ...and i got that blazer. in fact, that pocket square is probably the receipt. ( laughter )
150 bucks, thanks, h&m. >> stephen: there you go. i do want to-- you look really good. ( applause ) i want to point out your first instinct was "i'm going on dave. the i want to look good." >> eh. >> stephen: thanks for dressing up. ( laughter and applause ) i'm not sure what... you just feel so relaxed now, is that why you you're wearing-- >> i don't know why i'm wearing maternity clothes, but-- ( laughter ) i don't know. this is great. this is awesome man. this is, like, where the beatles played. >> stephen: yeah, isn't it? yeah. >> this is insane. ( applause ) >> stephen: now, like me, you're from a pretty big family. how many kids? >> i'm the youngest of seven. >> stephen: all right. being the youngest is great of a big family, isn't it? >> yeah, my parents did not have cable. ( laughter ) >> stephen: are you-- now, being one of a lot of kids, what-- are you the funniest one in your family? >> no, no. >> stephen: according to...
you or them? >> both. no. ( laughter ) i feel like the funniest-- the funniest ones are never the ones that end up being comedians. it's always, like, the third or fourth ones that are really trying to overachieve. the funny ones, they're very confident-- i think the funniest people in my family were my grandfather and my grandmother who they were the funniest. my grandfather was a pastor and so he knew how to hold court. he was funny on purpose. my grandmother wasn't funny on purpose. she just couldn't help it. ( laughter ) just couldn't help it. >> stephen: no filter? >> no filter. and she would exaggerate. she would-- oh, she would exaggerate. anything anybody-- "he was nine feet tall!" he wasn't nine feet tall. "he was 2,000 pounds!" and she would say it like, "how could you call me a liar?" ( laughter ) she was the best. >> stephen: we have to take a little bit of a break, but when we come back, i'll ask michael
how he feels about talking about the news every week. you might be surprised by his answer. ( cheers and applause ) ( band playing ) go with simparica trio it's triple protection made simple! simparica trio is the first and only monthly chewable that covers heartworm disease, ticks and fleas, round and hookworms. dogs get triple protection in just one simparica trio! this drug class has been associated with neurologic adverse reactions, including seizures. use with caution in dogs with a history of these disorders. protect him with all your heart. simparica trio. when you really need to sleep. you reach for the wreally good stuff.. zzzquil ultra helps you sleep better and longer when you need it most. its non-habit forming and powered by the makers of nyquil.
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no, not you. yvonne yiu. yvonne yiu. not me. good choice. for 25 years, yiu worked as an executive at top financial firms. managed hundreds of audits. as mayor, she saved taxpayers over $55 million. finding waste. saving money. because... yiu is for you. yiu is for you. exactly. yvonne yiu. democrat for controller. ( band playing ) ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: hey, everybody, we're back with michael che. i found out something today that i did not-- i don't know how this escaped me, but you, along with colin, you two are the longest "weekend update" anchors
of all time in history. ( cheers and applause ) what is it, seven years? eight, what is it? >> something like that, yeah. >> stephen: something like that. >> thank you. i don't know-- i don't know-- i don't know why? >> stephen: i mean, it must-- it's a good gig. do you enjoy the news? like, are you a junky? >> no! what you just did was terrifying. i-- i was -- >> stephen: well, not every night is about subjects like this, you know what i mean? >> ( groans ) >> stephen: this is a little tougher. ( laughter ) >> they're getting a little bet closer and closer. >> stephen: that's true. you don't follow the news? >> i don't-- i don't like the news. i do it for work. ( laughter ) >> stephen: so you're willing to be the host of "weekend update," but you're just not into it. >> i like the joke parts. i like the joke math. you know, i always laugh because kid come up to me, "i get all my news from you." i'm like, "you don't know news, because that is not what i'm doing, man." >> stephen: wow, wow. >> do you like it? do you like doing the news? >> stephen: i've always liked the news.
i don't it to be this dark. i'm doing it for the jokes, too. i'm here for the math. i like the construction of the joke and when it works, it feels good and they make that noise with their mouth and you know you did your job well. that's what i like about comedy, you know when it works. >> yeah, but you find out when it didn't work at the same time they do. ( laughter ) >> stephen: true! it is a series-- it is a series of bets you lay down in the rewrite room. >> people are like, "why can you say that?" "i don't know. it was funny in the room." >> stephen: exactly. i'll bet how i feel tomorrow on this joke. because you-- if it doesn't work, you keep that with you until your next chance to go out there and do it again. >> and i do it with somebody else, it's so crazy if you bomb and the camera cuts away from you, and then he kills, and then it cuts back to you, and everybody is like "aww." ( laughter ) now i've got-- i'm in the hole. it's rough, man. it's a rough gig, and it is not smart. >> stephen: well, so now you
have the second season of your own sketch comedy show, "that damn michael che." >> yeah. >> stephen: i do want to point out that you work on a sketch comedy show. maybe "the" sketch comedy show, and this is your side project. it's kind of a busman's holiday. why do more sketch? because you can do sketch. >> yeah, but this one's for black people. ( laughter and applause ) so... a little different. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> stephen: all right, all right. so officially, "s.n.l." is for white people is what you're saying? >> i'm just saying, you know... ( laughter ) no, it's fun. it's-- it's-- that's another variety show, and it's so many different voices. but, no, there are shows you can kind of lock in and be a little bit more nuanced and that's always fun to get to do. and we can curse. >> stephen: oh, wow. >> on hbo, we can say all of the
foul language. >> stephen: good for you, good for you, if you like that kind of stuff. >> if you like that sort of thing. >> stephen: we have a clip here. can you tell us what's happening in the clip? >> this clip, i hope you guys like it-- ( laughter ) >> stephen: you can say that before everything you ever do "i've got another joke. i hope you like it." >> no, this clip, i really hope you like it. i'm getting an intervention. i'm asking my girlfriend's-- my ex-girlfriends to give me an intervention to find out what's wrong with me. ( laughter ) >> stephen: and here we go. >> you could have told me you had a girlfriend. >> all right, all right. now what do you think you could have done differently? >> ( bleep ) what you said to me? >> well, be honest. >> when we broke up, he tried to date my sister. >> wow. >> well, i didn't know. >> yes, you did, don't lie. >> you didn't let me finish. i didn't know that that mattered. >> you're disgusting. >> he dumped me on juneteenth. >> really? >> i didn't even know that was a
( bleep ) holiday until last year. >> shame on you. >> i got one. you always ( bleep ) on everything i like. >> yes! >> no, i don't. >> yes, you do. i hate tell you about anything i like because you make me feel dumb for liking it. >> yes! >> but, don't you think if something you like is objectively bad, i should make you feel a little dumb so you don't like it anymore? >> it's not objectively bad if i think it's good. >> what the ( bleep ) do you know? you like k-pop. >> and? >> she calls harry styles r&b. that's ( bleep ) wrong! ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: thanks for being here fan, that was a lot of fun. >> that was a lot of fun. >> stephen: season two of, "that damn michael che," premieres tomorrow on hbo max. michael che, everybody! we'll be right back with admiral james stavridis. ( cheers and applause ) ( band playing ) ♪ ♪twas in another lifetime♪ ♪one of toil and blood♪ ♪when blackness was a virtue the road was full of mud♪
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( band playing ) ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: welcome back, everybody. ladies and gentlemen, my next guest was a four-star admiral in the u.s. navy and served four years as supreme allied commander of nato. his new book is called, "to risk it all." please welcome, admiral james stavridis. ( band playing ) ( applause ) >> stephen: admiral, thanks for being here. >> my pleasure. >> stephen: we will get to your
book in just a moment. here it is. it's called "to risk it all." before we get into talking about nato and the situation in europe right now and your book, i wanted to talk to you about, well, a story related to what's going on now down in texas. it happens too often, the tragedies we see. if i'm not mistaken, the ar-15 was designed to be essentially a civilian version of the m-16 that has been used for decades by the u.s. military. >> yes. >> stephen: you spent 37 years in the military. you-- you were in wars. you saw battle. do you think that civilians should be allowed to purchase weapons that were specifically meant to be used in battle? >> i'll answer in three word: "of course not." ( applause ) let's-- let's be clear. i spent my life in the
profession of arms. i chose the gun. i understand what this means. i've seen hard things in my life on battle fields. these are destructive, powerful weapons. they should never placed in the hand of an amateur or tragically in texas, essentially a child. look, you have to be 21 years old to buy a beer in the united states of america. you can buy a long gun when you're 18. we've got it upside down. ( applause ) >> stephen: well... one of the things-- one of the things that was the subject of much discussion over the last five or six years is what america is beginning to look like to the outside world. our inability to govern ourselves or to communicate with each other as we attempt to find some sort of common cause in our governance. what do you think these kind of events, the fights we have over things like the second
amendment, what kind of image does that project to the rest of the world now? >> you know, stephen, i just flew here from europe, and throughout my time in europe over a few days, constantly people would ask me, "what is going on back in your country with these mass shootings?" it is a topic of conversation amongst our greatest pool of allies. and so the answer to the question is, we diminish our role in the world significantly. we lose the ability to step forward, be an example to the world if we cannot solve these problems of disorder in our house here at home. >> stephen: well, let's talk about the united states' relationship to the rest of the world through our allies in nato. from 2009 to 2013, you were nato supreme allied commander, which is a fancy-pants title. and i'm just curious what exactly does "supreme allied commander" do?
>> it's a terrific question. your job is team building. your job is to speak to the-- at the time i was supreme allied commander-- the 28 nations of nato, now 30-- god willing 32 shortly when finland and sweden join. >> stephen: okay. ( applause ) >> but your job is to go about to all these different countries and get them on the same sheet of music, and that sounds pedestrian. >> stephen: mm-hmm. >> but when you are talking about, for example, a combat mission in afghanistan, and you have to encourage the icelanders and the luxumbourgers to deploy troops-- small numbers, but troops-- alongside the germans and the french, and the brits and the italians. it's a huge melange of culture. so the biggest job was bringing the team together, getting the band together, and getting us forward on our missions. >> stephen: now, nato, which--
is it right, the sort of public perception, that during the previous administration there was sort of fractures in the relationships in nato? >> yes. >> stephen: okay, right. and that was all to putin's liking. >> indeed. >> stephen: and he was hoping that that would increase when he invaded ukraine. but quite the opposite has happened, evidently, and now finland and sweden, as you said, might be joining. what's that process like? >> you can look it up, finland, sweden apply to join nato, and you'll see pictures of their ambassadors bringing rather large documents sealed with wax and seals to apply-- >> stephen: sealed with wax? >> it's a true fact. >> stephen: that's like a papal edict? >> it's very close to that, although we don't have to burn paper to choose a new supreme allied commander. it's white smoke. >> stephen: okay. >> but i will say this, in deadly seriousness-- we want, we need sweden and finland in this alliance and let me tell you why. these are two nations who
deployed alongside nato again and again. they sent troops to afghanistan, to the balkans, to libya. i had these troops under my command. they are professional. they are brave. they're technologically advanced. they're really tall, which is-- ( laughter ) >> stephen: can see over hedges and stuff. >> indeed, i'm like 5'5", so the swedes to essentially harass me would send a security detail of these 6'4-"inch vikings which would follow me around the balkans protecting me. those are the kind of people you want on your side-- tall people. >> stephen: henry kissinger said something interesting recently. he said that ukraine has to give up some land to russia or else it puts russia sort of in a bad position, like back on their heels, and it will lead to greater tension. and i'm wondering what you think of that assessment? do you think that it's a reasonable thing to ask the ukrainians to give up some land? >> i do not.
i think, however, these are decisions not for henry kissinger or james stavridis or stephen colbert. these are decisions for ukrainians. i mean that very seriously. our job is to give the ukrainians the military tools, the weapons, the diplomatic support, the intelligence, the cyber security oversight, give them the tools that create options for them. if they then decide to negotiate with russia, that's their choice. >> stephen: well, you have the new book "to risk it all," these are about nine famous naval conflicts and the critical decision makers in those conflicts. who of those decision makers, or which one of these conflicts, do you think is the most applicable that we could learn the most from in our time? >> i'm going to cheat slightly and pick two and i'm going to do it fast. >> stephen: okay. >> number one, because any navy officer is going to say this,
john paul jones, who fought for the republic in its earliest days, and he was in a terrible battle, losing awfully. his crew was abandoning him. and, yet, he stood and delivered, and these are the immortal words, "i have not yet begun to fight." so you've got to look at that and think of zelenskyy, who is this charismatic figure. who is leading his nation, who is utterly determined to save his country, his elders, his family, his language, his civilization. you have to respect that. the second one-- and a story i love in the book-- is about a navy enlisted man, a sailor named dorie miller. he's african american, in the 1930s. not a lot of options where he comes from in texas. so he joins the navy. the bad news is the navy of that era is segregated.
it is not a lot of great places he can go. and he ends up, essentially, as a cook on one of our ships. but here's the story: pearl harbor, the guns are firing, the torpedoes are launched, the bombs are dropping. dorie miller leaves the ward room where the officers' mess is, and literally goes to the guns and he finds himself with an anti-aircraft gun that he really doesn't know exactly how to operate. a couple of other sailors are there with him. they load the gun and they shoot down two japanese fighters-- two japanese zeros. afterwards, he receives the navy cross, the second highest decoration of our nation. and the u.s. navy punchline alert here, the u.s. navy 18 months ago announced our next nuclear aircraft carrier will be named the "u.s.s. dorie miller," first one named after an enlisted man. ( cheers and applause ) >> stephen: wow.