Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.


Donald Trump claimed he isn’t “angry at anybody” while on a call to a New York Times reporter after Robert Mueller’s investigation closed in on his former campaign adviser Paul Manafort and former aide George Papadopoulos. But as played by Alec Baldwin in the opening sketch of “Saturday Night Live,” he’s not angry; he’s a man resigned to pushing all his pawns into a “foolproof plan” (which he admits he may still fumble) to avoid taking the fall.

He explains the strategy to Manafort (played by Alex Moffat)—in the shower, to make sure Manafort’s not wearing a wire, “Gone Girl-style.” All he asks is that Manafort “go to prison for a very, very, very long time, and in return, I still get to be president, which I hate, but I’m too proud to quit.” Cue Beck Bennett as Mike Pence, waiting in the wings to help Manafort scrub his back. (Thankfully we don’t get a vision of Pence as president here, as Trump vows to bring him down with them.)

Kate McKinnon, in perhaps her best-received impression of Attorney General Jeff Sessions yet, conspires with Baldwin’s Trump. But ultimately, Sessions grants, “We should all get used to wearing stripes.”

And Melania (played by Cecily Strong)? She’s doing just great during all this, as Trump put an Airplane autopilot-style dummy of himself on the plane from Hawaii to Asia with her. She admires how “dignified” and presidential and even muscular the inflatable Donald is compared to the real thing. The implication: We might all be better off if the dummy goes to Asia.

Minimal props go to NBC for belatedly addressing “what an idiot that Harvey Weinstein is.” As Baldwin’s Trump puts it, though, “He could have gotten away with all of it, if only he’d gotten himself elected president.”

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Jenny Pierson is AlterNet’s assistant managing editor and assistant publisher.