By Elahe Izadi / The Washington Post
It’s been nearly a year since Donald Trump was elected president, yet the Alec Baldwin portrayals on “Saturday Night Live” won’t let up.
This week’s show opened with Baldwin’s Trump visiting his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who has just been indicted and is under house arrest. (“SNL’s” Trump avoided his trip to Asia by sending “a very convincing look-alike” — a doll dressed in a suit.)
Manafort declares, “Whatever happens sir, I won’t betray you.” But Trump has an idea — cut to a scene where both of them are standing, bare-chested, in a shower with running water.
“I brought you to the shower to make sure you weren’t wearing a wire, Paul,” Baldwin’s Trump explains. “That’s why we’re going to do this ‘Gone Girl’ style.”
Then the president asks Manafort, played by Alex Moffat, to go to prison for “a very, very long time.” When Manafort starts to protest, Vice President Mike Pence shows up in a suit — which he explains by saying, “I’m not married to the water.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, played by Kate McKinnon, then joins in the very crowded shower scene. “I’m wearing a bathing costume I got from my favorite place: the 1890s,” McKinnon’s Sessions declares. “Plus, I thought we should all get used to wearing stripes.”
The solution they finally come to? “I can’t pardon you now,” Baldwin’s Trump says, as it would “look too suspicious.” He adds: “We’ll wait a few weeks, dress you up as a turkey, and pardon you then.”
But perhaps the line that got the biggest audience response had to do with Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual harassment or assault by dozens of women. (Weinstein, through a lawyer, has “denied allegations of nonconsensual sex.”)
“What an idiot that Harvey Weinstein is,” Baldwin’s Trump says in the sketch. “He could have gotten away with all of it if only he had gotten himself elected president.”
Baldwin himself recently received backlash for comments he made about the Weinstein fallout. In an interview with “PBS NewsHour” posted Friday, Baldwin said he had heard rumors that Weinstein raped Rose McGowan, and talked about how settlements silence women and wondered whether the agreements delay “the course of change.”
On Saturday, Baldwin tweeted that he is temporarily suspending his personal Twitter account.
“It was never my intention, in my public statements, to ‘blame the victim’ in the many sexual assault cases that have emerged recently,” he said in a series of tweets. “I simply posited that the settlement of such cases certainly delayed justice. … my heart goes out to all such victims. My goal is to do better in all things related to gender equality. Au revoir.”
But he continued tweeting from his foundation account and got into a public back-and-forth with Asia Argento — a Weinstein accuser who wrote that Baldwin was “mansplaining ‘the cause’ for women everywhere” — and her partner, Anthony Bourdain.