“Man, it is good to be back in the U.S.A.,” Colbert said on Monday.
The Late Show host was in Russia, taping material for his show and appearing on Russian late-night series, Evening Urgant, where he joked about a possible 2020 presidential run, saying, “I thought it would be better to cut out the middleman and just tell the Russians myself.”
Colbert promised his viewers a week’s worth of Russia content but he also revealed that he was followed during his visit.
“You know who did know I was in Russia? Russian intelligence. Hardcore fans, evidently — followed me everywhere,” Colbert said.
He continued: “Also got some attention from American intelligence. A couple guys seemed to pop up everywhere we went.”
Colbert joked about how “important” it is to keep an eye on comedians who travel abroad.
“I could be giving state secrets to the Russians,” he said. “Oh wait, someone’s already got that covered.”
Colbert also wanted to clarify his U.S. presidential announcement that he made on Russian late-night TV during his visit.
“All I said… was I was considering a run. If I decided to run, obviously I’m not going to ask the Russians to help my campaign. I’d have my son-in-law ask them,” Colbert said Monday.
He also thanked everyone he met in Russia,”from the government agents following us every day, to the extra from John Wick with the full sleeve of tattoos triangulating in the lobby, including ones of these goons right outside my door.”
He also thanked “our pharmaceutical industry for helping me sleep at night” while he was in Russia.
“And, like President Trump, I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any other tapes of what I did in Russia. I did not personally make any such recordings – but I’m pretty sure my crew did,” the host joked.
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert will devote one week to Colbert’s Russia trip.