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Donald Trump Defends “Restrained” Twitter Bashing Of Alec Baldwin & ‘SNL’ In Person Of Year Interview

Deadline logo Deadline 12/7/2016 Lisa de Moraes
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Crowned Time magazine’s Person of the Year, POTUS-Elect Donald Trump took the opportunity to again trash Saturday Night Live over recent skits in which he is played by Alec Baldwin, and to again suggest the iconic NBC late-night show’s future is uncertain.

In an interview on NBC’s Today, Trump also took issue with the headline on the Time cover in which he is named Person of the Year. It would appear our next president is having a bad morning.

Interviewing NBC’s former reality-TV series star, Today’s co-host-in-chief Matt Lauer wanted to talk about Trump’s use of Twitter since becoming POTUS–Elect, noting, as have so many other journalists since the election, that Trump did not pivot to become Restrained Trump, as they say he had promised.

“We have not seen you backing off,” Lauer said, nothing Trump has, in the month since Election Day, gone after the cast of Hamilton, SNL, China, Boeing, the media in general, etc. “Is this proving to be habit?” wondered Lauer, pretending we all didn’t already know the answer.

“No, I think I am very restrained,” Trump responded, but not facetiously, noting he also has tweeted about “important things.”

“Frankly, it’s a modern-day form of communication…Between Facebook and Twitter I have I guess 40 million people,” Trump crowed. That enables him to get out his message “much faster than a press release” and “much more honestly than dealing with dishonest reporters, because so many reporters are dishonest.”

“Can we agree it would be better for you to stop watching SNL, as opposed to watching it and then complaining about it?” Lauer asked our next commander-in-chief.

“Well, I hosted SNL when it was a good show, but it’s not a good show any more,” Trump responded, presidentially. “First of all, nothing to do with me, there is nothing funny about it. The skits are terrible! I mean, I like Alec, but his imitation of me is really mean spirited and not very good. I like him as an actor, but I don’t think his imitation of me gets me at all, and it’s meant to be very mean spirited, which is very biased and I don’t like it.”

“Frankly, the way the show is going now, and the kind of work they’re doing, who knows how long they’re going to be on. It’s a terrible show,” proclaimed the next leader of the free world. Lauer, who recently signed a new contract with NBC News, suggested the show was doing just fine.

Today once again got the “scoop” on who had been picked as Time‘s Person of the Year which, in mainstream media circles, still is considered an “event.” This marks the ninth time since Trump announced his White House bid that Time has put him on its cover – not that the choice has anything to do with trying to sell the most copies of the magazine or anything.

Trump said in his exclusive interview with Today that it is a “tremendous honor” – then took issue with the cover’s reference to him as “President of the Divided States of America.”

“When you say ‘Divided States of America,’ I didn’t divide them,” Trump complained. “They’re divided now, there’s a lot of division. And we’re going to put it back together.”

In fairness, Trump and Lauer did discuss more important topics. Trump, for instance, insisted Mitt Romney, who at one point was the face of the Dump Trump movement, still is in the running for Secretary of State, and acknowledged he did seek cabinet recommendations from President Barack Obama and “takes his recommendations very seriously.” Trump revealed he already has named one of whom Obama thinks well, and will be appointing others who got thumbs up from the outgoing POTUS. Trump also revealed he asked Obama what are the country’s biggest problems.

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