President Trump famously declared that he wouldn’t lose any voters even if he shot someone in the middle of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.
If the first two years of his presidency have shown anything, that statement could be amended to say he wouldn’t lose votes from Republican senators, who have for the most part voted in line with the president at every turn, even when it has seemed to conflict with their stated values.
“Saturday Night Live,” sensing perhaps the elevated tensions coursing through the capital, took aim at this political phenomenon with a parody on NBC host Chuck Todd and his Sunday show, “Meet the Press,” for the cold open.
The three guests?
A trio of Senate Republicans who have occupied particularly prominent positions in the public eye over the last couple of years: Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (played by a surprisingly convincing Beck Bennett), Sen. Susan Collins (Cecily Strong, who nailed Collins’ idiosyncratic style of speaking), and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (Kate McKinnon, the faux South Carolina drawl poured on thick).
Todd, played by Kyle Mooney, began with an issue that has bubbled up in the news lately — the lingering questions about a potential trade war with China.
All three of his guests, Todd said, had opposed tariffs in the past. Would they support them as part of the president’s agenda now?
“Well Chuck, there’s a simple answer to that,” McConnell said. “There was no collusion.”
“When you have a president who’s a financial genius and a business Jesus, like Donald Trump, you just got to trust him,” Graham said, a parody of the over the top obsequiousness some have ascribed to the senator of late. “This man has lost 100 times more money than I’ve ever made.”
Todd noted that his guest had done a complete 180 from the independence he had appeared to flash during the presidential contest and early part of Trump’s presidency.
“Chuck, I am a man of conviction and principles,” Graham said. “Unless he can help me and then it’s, ‘new Lindsey, who’s this?’”
The segment also roasted Collins ruthlessly, skewering her as a woman who espouses beliefs that she simply cannot bear to stand up for in any substantive way.