Donald Trump has never shown much of a sense of humour when he’s been the butt of the joke, but new information is coming to light claiming that he attempted to abuse his power as president to lash out at late-night comedy shows that made fun of him.
According to an account in the Daily Beast, in March 2019 Trump watched an episode of “SNL” and reportedly became furious about the way he was being depicted.
“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,’” he tweeted, prior for being kicked off Twitter for his role in inspiring a mob to attempt to overthrow the government. “Like an advertisement without consequences. Same with Late Night Shows. Should Federal Election Commission and/or FCC look into this?”
However, Trump apparently wasn’t just asking a rhetorical question.
“According to two people familiar with the matter, Trump had asked advisers and lawyers in early 2019 about what the Federal Communications Commission, the courts systems, and — most confusingly to some Trump lieutenants — the Department of Justice could do to probe or mitigate ‘SNL’, Jimmy Kimmel, and other late-night comedy mischief-makers,” notes the Daily Beast.
Given that satire is firmly protected by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment, Trump’s requests were not taken seriously.
“It was more annoying than alarming, to be honest with you,” one of the sources recalled.
Following the report, Trump himself responded in a statement slamming “SNL”, Alec Baldwin (who played Trump throughout his presidency) “and other late-night Losers” as “total Fake News,” claiming the story was “fabricated.”
He concluded with once again telling his “Big Lie” that the 2020 presidential election was “fraudulent,” along with throwing a bone to delusional QAnon adherents who bizarrely believe he’s going to be reinstated as president in August, writing, “2024 or before!”
Trump releases a statement denying he asked his DOJ to go after SNL. He then concludes the statement with "2024 or before!" — a nod toward the idea he could be reinstated (He cannot be reinstated) pic.twitter.com/C9NAytESCO
— Allan Smith (@akarl_smith) June 22, 2021