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Late night talk show hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert used their Tuesday night monologues to address a recent report that former President Donald Trump attempted to use the resources of federal agencies to “probe or mitigate” presidential satire and parodies of him.
“President Snowflake asked to send the authorities in to stop us from making fun of him,” Kimmel said during Tuesday night’s episode of his ABC late night show. “Not only that, he wanted to get Guillermo to pay for the wall.”
The report, published by The Daily Beast, details Trump’s inquiries into whether the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice and the U.S. courts could be used to investigate and potentially stop “late-night comedy mischief-makers” from cracking jokes or making fun of him during segments or skits.
Among the two unnamed sources cited in the report, one told the outlet that after discussing it with the former president over two years ago and noting that the Department of Justice specifically doesn’t handle matters like this,” Trump seemed disappointed” that no legal recourse could be had.
He then proceeded to ask “Can something else be done about it?” to which the source recounts responding “with some version of ‘I’ll look into it’” — though they admit they did not actually look into it.
Trump took those initial requests to his lawyers and advisers in 2019, which sources cited as “more annoying than alarming,” after having previously tweeted something similar that same year, according to The Daily Beast.
“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,’” Trump tweeted, long before he was banned from Twitter for inspiring a violent mob. “Like an advertisement without consequences. Same with Late Night Shows. Should Federal Election Commission and/or FCC look into this?”
Representatives for Saturday Night Live had no comment about the claims made in the report or the tweet from Trump, but Kimmel responded to them directly on his show.
“I’m up here googling on him, he’s asking the feds to do who the hell knows what,” Kimmel said.
“Remember on the old Batman show where the Penguin had those henchmen in those bowler hats and the tight black shirts? This is what Trump wanted. A goon squad. A bunch of tough guys to rough people up because he can’t take a joke.”
“He can make one,” Kimmel continued. “In fact, he’s made several. Eric, Ivanka, Don Jr.”
While The Daily Beast report addresses that Trump’s inquiry was about late night generally, it specifically names SNL and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, to the offense of The Late Show host Stephen Colbert.
“Folks this is dangerous, disturbing, un-American, and why do I get lumped in with other comedy mischief-makers?” Colbert said to laughs. “All due respect to my dear friend James Tiberius Kimmel, but if the DOJ thugs are kicking down doors to round up the late night chuckleheads to drag us off to Mara-Gu-Lago to be assassinated, I should get more than ‘and the rest.’”
Colbert blasted Trump’s reaction to “our terrible impressions of him,” declaring that “there has not been a presidential overreaction like this since Nixon sent Navy SEALs to assassinate the Smothers Brothers.”
Before the late night hosts took to the stage, Trump released a statement blasting The Daily Beast’s report as fake.
“The story that I asked the Department of Justice to go after ratings challenged (without Trump) Saturday Night Live, and other late night losers, is total Fake News,” he wrote. “It was fabricated, there were no sources, and yet the Lamestream Media goes with it.”
After claiming that the report was false, Trump took time to acknowledge his pick for his favorite impersonator. “I did say, however, that Alec Baldwin has no talent, certainly when it comes to imitating me,” the statement, which Kimmel displayed during his segment, said. “The one who had what it took was Darrell Hammond.”
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