In early 2019, former president Donald Trump tried to enlist the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission to probe “Saturday Night Live” and other late-night comedy shows to stop their teasing, two sources told the Daily Beast.
One source reportedly involved in such a discussion said that when Trump was informed that the DOJ doesn’t handle such matters, the sitting president expressed disappointment.
“Can something else be done about it?” Trump allegedly asked.
“I’ll look into it,” the source, described as having a legal degree, reportedly responded before telling The Daily Beast that they, in fact, never “looked into it.”
Trump apparently didn’t understand that “SNL” is clearly a satirical show, and satire is not subject to the same “equal time” rules governing certain political speech on TV and radio.
The other source who spoke to The Daily Beast said the president’s inquires about how he might be able to stop “SNL” and other late-night hosts such as Jimmy Kimmel were not taken seriously.
“It was more annoying than alarming, to be honest with you,” the source recalled.
In hindsight, Trump’s alleged requests offer more evidence he had a penchant for trying to use DOJ resources like a “personally retained law firm,” The Daily Beast reported.
As emails from the House Oversight Committee released this month already revealed, Trump also tried to pressure the Justice Department to probe wild election fraud conspiracy theories amid his quest to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory.
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