On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported a story that sounded ridiculous enough to be true: Donald Trump was so incensed at Alec Baldwin’s parody of him over the years on SNL — as well as jokes by Jimmy Kimmel — that he tried to get the Justice Department to stop it. It made sense: Trump, a delusional type with an epically inflated self-image, is famously thin-skinned. And he was constantly pushing the limits of his presidential powers, whose reach he never seemed to fully understand. Later in the day, he tried to deny it, even as he doubled down on his belief that shows like it should be punished by the feds.
The denial was released as one of his occasional, clearly un-copy edited press releases — the ones he used to publish on his failed blog.
“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,” wrote the man who lives alone in resorts with strangers, to whom he rambles. He claimed it was “fabricated” by the “Lamestream Media,” one of a handful of Greatest Hits he threw his fans, including the one that he “got 75 million votes (the most of any sitting President)” in “a very Fraudulent Election.”
But there was one thing the Lamestream Media got right. “I did say, however, that Alec Baldwin has no talent, certainly when it comes to imitating me,” Trump wrote, then praised an older SNL alum: “The one who had what it took was Darrell Hammond.”
Hammond lasted 14 seasons on SNL, from 1995 to 2009. Though his most famous presidential impersonation was Bill Clinton, he did Trump as well, and he came back multiple times to do it, including after he clinched the Republican nomination. But Lorne Michaels chose Baldwin as his resident Trump throughout his presidency, letting him retire after the 2020 election. Feel free to debate whose Trump was better, but let’s just say it’s rarely a good idea when the person you’re savagely lampooning likes it.
Despite denying that he tried to sic the DoJ on SNL, he then claimed that they should…do that anyway, writing, “I do believe that the 100% one-sided shows should be considered an illegal campaign contribution from the Democrat Party.” He signed off with a faintly cryptic declaration: “2024 or before!”
So to summarize: Trump claims he never did the thing he was accused of trying to do, which he thinks should happen anyway. And maybe he’ll return to office before four years from now, even though he’s already busy with a speaking tour thing with Bill O’Reilly later this year. Well, at least he’s banned on Facebook through at least January.