Saturday Night Live cast a wide net in its political satire this week, mocking Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un in the wake of revelations from the Mueller report.
The president and his supporters felt vindicated last week when Attorney General William Barr released a brief summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. SNL begged to differ, mocking the president in a sketch featuring Putin and Kim Jong Un dissecting the case.
The sketch opened in Russia, with Putin (Beck Bennett) talking to his advisers. They were disappointed by the news that Trump was not — strictly speaking — working for Russia. They revisited some of the evidence President Trump's critics had pointed to, such as his public praise for Putin and Putin's shifty denials that they were working together.
"I can't figure this guy out," Putin confessed. "He's in my head!"
After that, Kim Jong Un — played by writer Bowen Yang for the first time — entered the meeting. He was accompanied by host Sandra Oh, who played his interpreter.
"Glorious Leader is upset to learn that President Trump is not working for you," she translated.
"Do not worry, Russia still has much influence over America," Putin said hurriedly. "We have, Internet trolls, and, uh, many other things."
Kim Jong Un responded in eye-rolling, sarcastic Korean, which Oh translated. Scrambling, Putin pointed out that the Mueller report still has not been released in full, and that a large portion of the investigation has been handed off to the southern district of New York.
"Our Glorious Leader says that you sound like Rachel Maddow right now," Oh said, referencing one of President Trump's biggest critics on MSNBC.
"I do most of what people think, I am still powerful scary guy!" Putin said. "Even if Trump doesn't work for me."
Of course, no Putin sketch would be complete without Bennett triumphantly ripping off his shirt, as he did in the very end of the scene.0comments
The sketch mirrored SNL's take on the Mueller report revelations from the cold open, essentially positing that it was far from the vindication that the president treated it as. Attorney General Barr noted in his letter that the report did not "exonerate" President Trump of either collusion or obstruction of justice, yet he and his staff have repeatedly called it a "complete and total exoneration" nonetheless.