Stephen Colbert reveals why Trump has so many Bibles: ‘Every time he holds one he bursts into flames’

Satirist Stephen Colbert tore into Donald Trump on The Late Show on Wednesday night over his unconvincing pivot to Bible salesmanship.

Mr Colbert began his opening monologue by recapping the latest developments in the Republican presidential candidate’s numerous court cases before declaring: “If you ever thought that this avalanche of legal scrutiny would somehow shame Trump from his non-stop grifting of the rubes then you are a sweet, sweet child, one of God’s innocents who should not be allowed in the room where daddy keeps his sharp things because, yesterday, Donald Trump announced a deal to endorse a $60 ‘God Bless the USA Bible’.

“It’s just like any other Good Book,” the comic continued. “Except in the middle of this one there’s a centrefold.”

Mr Colbert observed that “making a profit is Trump’s religion” before ridiculing the candidate’s partner in the venture, country singer Lee Greenwood, whose anthem “God Bless the USA” is a mainstay of MAGA rallies as so few other musical artists allow their compositions to be used.

He also laid into the Republican over the decision to include, alongside the holy text, the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and the Pledge of Allegiance, all of which are in the public domain and are therefore free for him to reproduce.

Mr Trump’s claim in the infomercial shilling the product that the Bible is his “favourite book” and that he has “many” copies of it came in for a particularly savage dissection.

“He has to have spare bibles because every time he holds one it bursts into flames,” Mr Colbert joked, before launching into a vivid impersonation of the billionaire businessman.

“I love this book, I love the snake, I love Jonah because WHALE! I love Abraham dragging his son up to the mountain for a human sacrifice – by the way, Eric, want to go camping?” he rasped.

On The Daily Show, Jordan Klepper likewise mocked Mr Trump’s decision to bind the Bible and Constitution together “like it’s a Pizza Hut-Taco Bell.”

He added: “Trump getting into business with God can only mean one thing: God is going to end up bankrupt and serving a three-month prison sentence for lying under oath.”

Donald Trump shilling Bibles (RealDonaldTrump/Truth Social)
Donald Trump shilling Bibles (RealDonaldTrump/Truth Social)

Meanwhile, on Late Night with Seth Meyers, the host introduced his own segment on the topic by drawing attention to the jaw-dropping hypocrisy involved: “Yep, the guy whose about to go on trial for paying hush money to cover up an affair with a porn star is selling Bibles and, because it’s a Trump Bible, most of the 10 Commandments are blacked out.”

Mr Meyers relished the gesture as only the latest in a long line of questionable products the former president has endorsed, from steaks and dubious diplomas to, more recently, digital trading cards, golden high-top trainers and cologne.

After parading a faux-gold Trump toilet plunger, the comic wryly observed: “Trump’s campaign isn’t, in any way, a real political campaign. It’s a money-making venture and an attempt to get out of jail. That’s it. He very obviously doesn’t care about making America great again.”

In order to bolster his appeal to the country’s Christian right, Mr Trump is periodically obliged to present himself in a more pious light, although he is rarely even as convincing in the role as Sinclair Lewis’s grifting evangelist Elmer Gantry in the movie of the same name – consider him awkwardly holding up a copy of the good book at St John’s Church in Washington DC in summer 2020.

Instead, he comes across much more like Moses Pray from Peter Bogdanovich’s film Paper Moon (1973), a chancer who sells scam Bibles to grieving households in Depression-era America by targeting them through the obituary pages of the local newspaper.

Prior to this latest stunt, Mr Trump posted a disturbing campaign video on social media before the Iowa caucuses in late January, in which he attempted to portray himself as God’s chosen emissary on Earth.

In the highly blasphemous ad, an ersatz preacher intones: “God said I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, fix this country, work all day, fight the Marxists, eat supper, then go to the Oval Office and stay past midnight at a meeting of the heads of state. So God made Trump.

“I need somebody with arms strong enough to wrestle the Deep State and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild.

“Somebody to ruffle the feathers, tame the cantankerous World Economic Forum, come home hungry, have to wait until the first lady is done with lunch with friends, then tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon – and mean it. So God gave us Trump.”