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Donald Trump was roundly mocked and criticized for a dismal interview with Axios that aired Monday night on HBO.
Among the more baffling moments, Trump said of the more than 150,000 U.S. novel coronavirus death toll: “It is what it is.”
In another bizarre instance, Trump told interviewer Jonathan Swan that the journalist could only talk about pandemic stats and comparisons that made the president look good rather than the actual facts and figures that Swan presented.
At another point in the interview, Trump complained that the late congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis skipped his inauguration. And in yet another instance Trump reiterated his well-wishes and “good luck” to accused child sex trafficker and Jeffrey Epstein partner Ghislaine Maxwell, whom Trump knowns personally. Trump also seized the moment to once again float conspiracy theories about Epstein’s death.
The interview left most viewers stunned, many comparing the sit-down to comedies such as HBO’s Veep. That comparison was not lost on Veep actor Sam Richardson. Although, he said the interaction was too stupid to ever have been a moment in the award-winning comedy.
“Yes, this is like a scene from Veep. Except on Veep this scene would have been re-written after the table read, because a president being this stupid is too gaggy and unrealistic,” Richardson said via Twitter.
Star Julia Louis-Dreyfus tweeted of the interview, “God, I wish this was just a dumb show like ours.” And Armando Iannucci quipped, “Christ Almighty, please God, don’t!” when someone added the Veep ending theme to the clip of the interview.
Veep showrunner David Mandel also weighed in, joking that another one of the show’s fictional characters would have had a different response to the pandemic.
President Jon H Ryan would have only killed 100,000 Americans tops. #veep https://t.co/pOo7EiraBj
— David Mandel (@DavidHMandel) August 4, 2020
Other Twitter users said it reminded them of a scene from the classic comedy, This Is Spinal Tap.
“Watching the Jonathan Swan interview reminded me of my interview with Chris Guest as Nigel Tufnel in Spinal Tap. Trump’s stupidity goes to 11,” Rob Reiner wrote on Twitter.
Aug. 5, 10:08 a.m.: Updated with tweets from Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Armando Iannucci.
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