“SNL” kicked off November with a cold open sketch that imagined how Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump might deal with the news that Paul Manafort is facing a federal indictment.
Baldwin reprised his role as Trump, reassuring the besieged Manafort in Trumpian style.
“You are so, so screwed,” Baldwin’s Trump told Manafort, played by Alex Moffat. “It’s a shame you are going to prison because I was about to give you a huge tax break. I called my tax plan “Cut, Cut, Cut,” because it was named while I was having a small stroke.” You can view the sketch in full above.
Trump noted that everyone currently thinks he’s in Hawaii, where the real Trump stopped as part of his trip to Asia this weekend. But Baldwin’s Trump explained he used a lookalike on the trip — an inflatable dummy that was also a reference to a joke in the movie “Airplane!” — so he could secretly meet with Manafort.
“Paul, believe me, my staff is much happier than that look alike is going,” Baldwin’s Trump explained. “They were terrified that when i got to china i would do the slant eyes thing like the guy on the Houston Astros. Hilarious. Everybody is so politically correct.”
Next, Trump took Manafort to his shower so he could be sure that Manafort wasn’t wearing a wire.
“I brought you in the shower to make sure you weren’t wearing a wire, Paul,” Trump explained. “That’s why we’re going to do this ‘Gone Girl’ style.”
“Mr. President, I would never do that with you,” Moffat’s Manafort insisted.
“That’s what she said,” Trump replied. “Like a whole bunch of shes have said that. Speaking of which, what an idiot that Weinstein is. He could have gotten away with all of it if only he had gotten himself elected president.”
Then Baldwin’s Trump laid out his plan to protect Manafort, with the help of both Mike Pence, played by Beck Bennett, and Jeff Sessions, played by Kate McKinnon.
“As I was saying, we have an ingenious solution,” Baldwin’s Trump said. “Shhh. Here’s the plan, Paul. I can’t pardon you now. But we are going wait a few weeks and then dress you up like a turkey. And then we’ll pardon you.”
“Though there is a small chance that I’ll screw that up, too, and my family will end up eating you for Thanksgiving,” Baldwin’s Trump said, bringing the sketch to a close. “So hang in there, Paul.”