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‘Saturday Night Live’ Cold Open Has Donald Trump Critiquing His Rivals As They Take Part In The “KIds Table” Debate He Skipped: “How Adorable”

James Austin Johnson returned as Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, this time with the former president offering a critique of each of his rivals as they participated in the most recent Republican debate.

Tonight’s cold-open sketch — which had the five rivals freezing in place as Trump walked on stage — was a bit of a riff on NBC News, which hosted Wednesday night’s gathering. Given Trump’s wide lead in the polls and his refusal to participate in the debates, the events essentially have been a battle to be the Trump alternative.

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“How adorable!” Johnson as Trump said as he first took the stage. “They actually think they’ve got a chance. Sad in some ways, but in other ways, funny.”

“Can you believe it, folks? Ninety-one indictments, four trials and I am still the best choice.”

The sketch actually opened with the start of the debate — including the NBC News graphics — and Lester Holt (Kenan Thompson). “Welcome to the Republican kids table debate,” Holt said.

Holt’s first question was to Vivek Ramaswamy (Ego Nwodim), who told him, “I would like to begin by not answering your question and instead use this platform to say, ‘Her daughter is on TikTok.'”

Then, Nikki Haley (Heidi Gardner) shot back, “Keep my daughter’s name out of your voice!”

In fact, that was an actual moment from Wednesday’s debate, as Ramaswamy referenced Haley’s daughter’s TikTok use even though Haley herself has bashed the social media platform. What got left out of the SNL sketch was when Haley actually said to Ramaswamy, “You’re just scum.”

When Trump arrived on set, his five rivals went still. “They are all stuck behind me and there is nothing they can do about it, just like in real life,” Trump said, then going to their poll numbers.

“Three percent, eight percent, 14%, five percent, and how about poor Tim Scott. One percent — very low. Lower than, frankly, milk,” he said.

He went on. “We like to say, Ramaswamy. But do we like him? He makes it hard, doesn’t he folks? This kid, he checks a lot of boxes. He’s rich. He’s rude. He’s got weird hair. He’s a lot like me except for one thing that matters a lot to my horrible, horrible base. … White.”

The sketch then broke the fourth wall, as Trump continued, “And look who SNL has playing him. Poor Ego — you don’t like it. She doesn’t like it. She used to be Lisa from Temecula. Now she’s Vivek from Ramaswamy.”

Then it was on to Ron DeSantis (John Higgins). “Ron’s watching [the sketch] going like, ‘Who the hell is that?’ Poor Ron DeSantis even SNL doesn’t think he has a chance. If they did it’d be like Paul Rudd or something in there.”

Trump then turned to Haley. “I call her bird brain, but only in public. She made some terrible points in that debate — I think, I don’t know. I have trouble hearing women over 25.”

“But let’s be honest. We are not going to have a president whose name is Nikki. President Nikki. It just doesn’t sound right, probably because it’s a women’s name.”

Finally Trump got to Chris Christie. “How can we forget Chris Christie? It’s actually pretty easy. You just walk away.”

The former Celebrity Apprentice host then got to his reason for skipping the debate. “I’m very. very busy. I’m going from trial to trial. I’m basically doing House Hunters but with courtroom.”

Trump was on the stand earlier this week in his New York civil fraud trial, in between the testimony of his children Eric and Ivanka.

“So awful to bring in the family,” Johnson as Trump said. “I’ll be very sad when I pin it on one of them — probably Eric.”

The sketch wrapped up with Trump concluding the debate and predicting “that’s probably a wrap on these impressions as well.”

“Anyway, I’ll probably pick one of these lucky five to be my VP — or in many ways, I will not at all.”

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