"Late Show" host Stephen Colbert Monday night said it is "shameful and grotesque" that some are likening the arrests of members of his production team in a building at the Capitol last week to the Jan. 6, 2021 incidents.
"I'm shocked I have to explain the difference — but an insurrection involves disrupting the lawful actions of Congress and howling for the blood of elected leaders, all to prevent the peaceful transfer of power," Colbert said on CBS's "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert," reports Axios.
The production team included seven people and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, a puppet voiced by actor Robert Smigel, and were charged with unlawful entry after having gained access to the Longworth House Office Building.
Colbert said the team had "shot for two days in congressional offices across the street from the Capitol building" and that they "went through security clearance, shot all day Wednesday, all day Thursday, invited into the offices of the congresspeople they were interviewing."
The arrest and release of the production team were "very professional" and "calm," Colbert said, but acknowledged it was a "very unpleasant experience for my staff [and] a lot of paperwork for the Capitol Police."
However, he said that the night after "a couple of the TV people started claiming that my puppet squad had 'committed insurrection' at the U.S. Capitol Building," but "First of all, what? Second of all, huh? Third of all, they weren't in the Capitol building."
Colbert did not name who he was talking about, but his comments come after Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson said on his program last Friday night that Colbert's team "just committed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol."
Further, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., posted a picture of the puppet and the team on Twitter and called their conduct "insurrection" and "targeted harassment."
Meanwhile, Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rodney Davis of Illinois on Monday sent a letter to the chief of the Capitol Police demanding security footage related to the arrests.
They said in the letter that the seven gained access to the building through House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Rep. Jake Auchincloss, D-Mass., and disturbed "several Republican members, including 'banging' on their office doors."
Greene also addressed Schiff and Auchincloss in her tweet.
Colbert Monday night, however, called the incident "first-degree puppetry" and "hijinks with the intent to goof. [It was a] misappropriation of an old 'Conan' [O'Brien] bit. It's really Conan's fault."
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