See Donald Trump as Vladimir Putin's Christmas Gift on 'SNL' - Rolling Stone
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Donald Trump Is Vladimir Putin’s Christmas Gift in ‘SNL’ Sketch

John Goodman appears as Secretary of State pick Rex Tillerson in cold open that calls out mogul’s refusal to acknowledge Russia’s role in election

Saturday Night Live called out Donald Trump‘s refusal to recognize Russia’s tampering of the election in a cold open that saw Alec Baldwin reprise the role of the President-elect as well as John Goodman appear as Secretary of State pick Rex Tillerson.

The Christmas-timed sketch opens with “Trump” discussing his final cabinet choices before asking in regards to the role of president, “Can I just do it three days a week like Howard Stern does?”

The sketch also mocked Trump’s “unpresidented” Twitter gaffe Saturday morning.

Soon after, a shirtless Vladimir Putin (SNL‘s Beck Bennett) comes down the Trump Tower chimney, hauling a bag of presents like Santa Claus.

“Vladimir, come in, it’s so great to finally meet in person,” Trump says. “I composed an email to you but I haven’t even sent it yet.”

“I know,” Putin smirks before buttering up Trump by calling him “the best candidate… the smartest candidate… the Manchurian candidate,” a nod to the 1962 thriller about brainwashed soldiers.

“I don’t know what that means but it sounds tremendous,” the president-elect says.

Putin gifts Trump with an Elf on the Shelf, or a surveillance camera stuffed in a doll. When the mogul tells Putin he doesn’t have a Christmas present for him, Putin snarls, “Please, Mr. Trump, you are the gift.”

John Goodman’s Rex Tillerson, the Exxon exec and noted Putin pal, then drops in to talk business with the Russian president.

While Putin and Tillerson discuss pipelines and manufactured wars, Trump asks aloud, “And then we destroy Vanity Fair, right?”; the magazine called the mogul’s Trump Grill the worst restaurant in America earlier in the week.

On the subject of black crude oil, Trump says, “Speaking of black and crude, I know Kanye. He came here. He’s using my colorist now. He says whatever he feels. He’s like me, but a black.”

Unlike previously Saturday Night Live sketches featuring Baldwin, this cold open did not draw the late-night ire of Trump himself, who at press time had not yet tweeted about the “unwatchable” show or how Baldwin’s impression “can’t get any worse.”


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