SNL rolled out its biggest guns–Robert De Niro and Alec Baldwin–for a double-barrel blast at Donald Trump over the Robert S. Mueller III investigation in a cold open marking the show’s return to live television.
For those caught in a mine cave-in or a subway breakdown deep on the Six Train, the real Trump has been going ballistic all week, along with his propaganda minions at Fox News.
The president claimed “complete and total exoneration” following release of a four-page “summary” of Mueller’s investigative report.
Even though Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General William Barr wrote the summary, even he couldn’t get around the fact Trump, specifically, was “not exonerated” by the investigation.
The contradiction reduced Trump to parody, once again. Late night comedians took their shot last week.
Saturday Night Live aired a re-run, but put together a lollapalooza of a cold open to make up for lost time.
De Niro reprised his role as Mueller, while Baldwin was back in form as Trump. Aidy Bryant played Barr and Kate McKinnon made a scene-stealing cameo as Trump mouthpiece Rudolph Guillani.
Mueller (De Niro) led off the piece looking dead-on at the camera reading his version of the report’s conclusion. The camera then cut to Bryant as Barr, reading his version of Muller’s conclusion. Finally Trump chimed in with his usual inane Tweets.
In the SNL skit, De Niro is rock-jawed and stoic as Mueller, sitting at a desk and reading his own summary of the investigation.
Bryant’s Barr is sneering and jocular providing his jaded interpretation of the report, and Baldwin’s Trump is giddy with joy.
“Guess what, guess what, guess what? Daddy’s about to freak,” Trump tweets as Mueller begins his presentation.
The characters went back and forth on the weightiness and upshot of Mueller’s near 400 page report, the shallowness of Barr’s four-page memo and Trump’s obliviousness.
“I am reading zero pages. But Sean Hannity has read it, and he was so excited he texted me a picture of an eggplant,” the president mock tweeted.
Back in the real world, Barr appeared to be back-peddling furiously in the face of widespread criticism of his “summary” amid a crescendo of calls to release the full report, according to The Washington Post.
In a strange twist of events, Barr on Friday sent a new letter to Congress that appeared to back-track on his characterization of his first letter.
“He is likely pushing back because calling it a ‘summary’ suggests that the letter accurately summarizes the entire report, and it does not do so,” former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti told The Post.
One glaring omission was Barr’s failure to reveal the report runs nearly 400 pages, supplemented by hundreds of pages of exhibits.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee, has demanded a copy of the full report from the Justice Department by this Tuesday (Apr. 2).
He also wants Barr to sign-off on releasing secret grand jury testimony, citing precedents set by the Watergate investigation and the investigation of President Bill Clinton.
What’s more, polls show that more than 75 percent of the American people want the full report released.
Skewering Trump has been a regular feature of SNL skits going back before the election, and cold opens have gotten under his skin more than once.
Following a Mar. 16 SNL rerun, Trump tweeted his ire. He blasted it as an example of “one-sided” media coverage and suggested the show was colluding with Democrats.
More chillingly, he questioned whether the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should investigate, forgetting the fact that SNL has skewered every president since it debuted in the 1970s.
“It’s truly incredible that shows like Saturday Night Live, not funny/no talent, can spend all of their time knocking the same person (me), over & over, without so much of a mention of “the other side.” Like an advertisement without consequences. Same with Late Night Shows,” he tweeted Sunday (Mar 17).
The episode in question aired a re-aired a cold open featuring Trump as the lead character in Frank Capra’s Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
One thing is certain, SNL is showing no signs of pulling its punches. Check out the video below.