“Saturday Night Live” picked the wrong week to joke about President Donald Trump’s record on the Islamic State.
During the cold open, the NBC comedy show brought back Alec Baldwin to impersonate the president. The sketch, a parody of Trump’s recent rally near Albuquerque, New Mexico, saw a series of cast members come on stage as stupidly conspiratorial Trump supporters.
At one point, Pete Davidson introduced himself to Baldwin’s Trump as an ISIS member.
“And where are you from? New Mexico?” the Trump character asked.
“ISIS!” Davidson replied. “Yeah, I was a prisoner in Syria until last week when you freed me, so, I just wanted to say, thank you for bringing jobs back. To ISIS. And I promise that I will make ISIS great again! Whoo!”
“Terrific. What a great guy. ISIS is back in a big, big way, folks. And we love that, don’t we? OK,” Baldwin said.
As noted by NewsBusters, six minutes before “SNL”‘s 11:30 Eastern time start, Jennifer Griffin of Fox News tweeted that ISIS leader Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi may have been killed in a raid by U.S. forces in Syria. Cable news aired the news shortly after midnight.
However, NBC chose not to interrupt “SNL” to inform viewers of the historic development.
Trump confirmed the reports on Sunday morning.
The raid comes weeks after Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria, which permitted Turkey to attack America’s Kurdish allies as it sought to set up a “safe zone.”
The move drew withering criticism from fellow Republicans and Democrats, who expressed concern both at the abandoning of the Kurdish fighters who were instrumental in defeating Islamic State forces in Syria, and that the move might allow the group to regain strength and pose a threat to U.S. interests.
A number of ISIS fighters escaped Kurdish captivity during the fighting, according to the Trump administration.
Trump said the raid would not change his decision to withdraw troops from Syria.
But the successful targeting of Baghdadi could help blunt those concerns, as well as boosting Trump domestically at a time when he is facing an impeachment inquiry in the U.S. House of Representatives.
(Reuters contributed to this report.)