Donald Trump speaks easy as Stephen Colbert asks the soft questions

TV host offers the occasional jibe about walls across Mexico, anti-Muslim comments and Barack Obama’s birthplace but it was really a team performance

oth Donald Trump and Stephen Colbert have stepped into new roles this year.

Trump, the deal artist, has emerged as a leading presidential candidate. Colberthas shed his over-the-top conservative persona to become a cheerful late-night talk show host on network television.

On Tuesday night, the pair pooled their acts, with Trump the candidate appearing on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert on CBS.

Barack Obama and Jay Leno couldn’t have done it any better.

Colbert cracked a few mild jokes at Trump’s expense, but he mostly handled the Republican frontrunner with the same respectful enthusiasm that competing late-night host Jimmy Fallon used when he had Trump on as a guest a couple weeks ago. The difference being that Fallon, who unveiled a Trump impression, was arguably the sharper interviewer.

Colbert did insert the occasional dagger of mirth, as when Trump sat forward in his chair and talked about his plan to build a new Great Wall of China between the US and Mexico with “a beautiful, big fat door” for legal immigrants.

“How about two walls, with a moat filled with fire and fireproof crocodiles?” Colbert said.

“We can have a great and beautiful wall,” Trump said. “And we stop crime, and we stop problems, and we stop drug trade … We’re gonna stop it.”

The line was met with applause by the studio audience.

But audience members who tuned in on the promise of interesting friction between a presidential candidate who has slandered the whole of Mexico andgiven a pass to hate speech directed at Muslims, on the one hand, and a comedian known for prancing on political stupidity, on the other, may have come away disappointed.

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