What would the White House had looked like if Donald Trump had not been elected president? This was the question sketched by a U.S. comedy show over the weekend. President Trump took to Twitter to slam the show, suggesting possible legal action against it, and controversies ensued over the freedom of expression.
NBC’s “Saturday Night Live (SNL)” aired a skit on Saturday (local time) titled “It’s a Wonderful Trump,” featuring actors including Alec Baldwin, who had played Trump previously in the show, as well as Ben Stiller, Matt Damon, and Robert de Niro.
The parody starts with a scene where a guardian angel sent from heaven takes President Trump to an alternative reality where Hillary Clinton won the election. The Trump administration’s incumbent officials appear one by one, all looking much happier as they no longer have to deal with lies or conduct a special investigation. “Me on the Supreme Court? With my temperament? Are you insane?” says Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual misconduct. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also tells Trump that “After we lost the campaign, the devil did give me my soul back.”
The parody took the format of a classic holiday film in which Scrooge meets a ghost on a Christmas eve and goes on an adventure. What is different from the original film is that the SNL’s skit ends with Trump still wanting to “be president again” and the angel shaking his head, saying “that was not the lesson at all.”
Trump took to Twitter on Sunday and said, “A REAL scandal is the one sided coverage, hour by hour, of networks like NBC & Democrat spin machines like Saturday Night Live. It is all nothing less than unfair news coverage and Dem commercials. Should be tested in courts, can’t be legal?” Yet, the tweet has drawn unsympathetic responses from local media outlets. The Washington Post reported that “many responded to Trump’s tweet by citing the First Amendment’s protection of free speech and expression.”
In a series of other tweets, President Trump also condemned special counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI’s investigation into the Russia scandal as “Witch Hunt.” He also denounced Michael Cohen as having become a "rat" by cooperating with the investigation. Observers say that the tweets reveal Trump’s being politically cornered with the investigation increasingly picking up speed. Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, President Trump’s lawyer, said on Sunday that Trump would sit for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller “over his dead body,” in an interview with “Fox News Sunday.”
Still, more people seem to be thinking that the truth behind the Russia scandal should be revealed through an investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign. In the poll conducted and published by the NBC and the Wall Street Journal, 62 percent of respondents said that they do not think Trump has been honest and truthful when it comes to the investigation into Russian interference.