Colbert: Manafort is so tied to Russia, he'll get banned from Olympics

Late-night host Stephen Colbert joked Tuesday that President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has so many ties to Russia he will be banned from the Olympics.

"The main thing Manafort needs to do is distance himself from any connections of Russia," Colbert said during his show.

"Manafort is so tied to Russia he is going to get banned from the Olympics."


Russia has been banned from competing in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, in retaliation for a state-backed doping program the International Olympic Committee (IOC) says Russia has run for years.

The IOC said Russia's flag will not be flown at next year's games and the country's anthem will not be played during the opening ceremony. The decision also bars the country's government officials from attending the events, while any Russian athletes who get special permission to compete will have to wear a neutral uniform.

Colbert's comments also come after special counsel Robert Mueller asked a federal judge to deny Manafort's request for release from house arrest by pointing to a draft of an op-ed the former Trump campaign manager ghostwrote with an associate tied to Russian intelligence.

Prosecutors say Manafort and the colleague — who is "assessed to have ties" with Russian intelligence — intended to publish the piece under a different name in an attempt to influence public opinion about Manafort's previous work in Ukraine.

The op-ed, if it had been published, would have violated a court order not to publicly discuss the case, a prosecutor working on Mueller's team argued.

"Paul Manafort wants the court to relax the conditions of his house arrest," Colbert said during his late-night show.

"But unfortunately for Paul Manafort, Paul Manafort is an idiot."