Anyone who pays attention to politics even in the slightest is probably aware of president-elect Donald Trump’s strange infatuation with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. Despite Putin being well-known as one of the most manipulative and all-controlling heads of state, Trump seems to wish to emulate Putin. He even went so far as to give Putin an ‘A’ for his leadership.
There have been a number of pieces of evidence that have surfaced since the start of the presidential campaign that point toward a connection between Putin and Trump. Trump has hired many people who worked with Putin directly, and one of the main job qualifications he seems to have for his cabinet members is whether or not they are generally friendly with Russia. He recently chose Rex Tillerson as his nomination for Secretary of State, which is the premier foreign policy director for the United States. Tillerson is also the CEO of ExxonMobil, one of the largest oil conglomerates in the world, and Russia includes a great number of places where they would like to drill. Tillerson also has ties to Putin.
Whether or not Trump has planned for this outcome, if Tillerson is allowed to become Secretary of State, it could mean a giant reduction in the work to use more renewable energy sources and a push to increase the use of globally harmful fossil fuels. There is no argument against the truth of climate change, so this administration could single-handedly tip the scales on an irreversible climate disaster.
In a bid to bring some humor to the situation, Saturday Night Live recently did another brilliant cold open in which Alec Baldwin reprises his popular impersonation of Trump. This time, the show attempted to poke fun at the strange relationship between Putin and Trump, and what that relationship could mean for the future of America. Of course, they did so with a barrage of humorous observations and predictions.
The scene starts when Trump, played by Baldwin, and his wife are in their home, and Putin drops down the chimney without a shirt but carrying a big red bag like Santa Claus. Trump gets really excited to see his friend, and the tone of the conversation is clearly a condescending one from Putin. Trump admits he had composed an email for Putin, but that he hadn’t yet sent it because he was too nervous. Putin instantly replies with a smug agreement, implying that he has access to Trump’s email, which pokes fun at the Russian email hacking scandal.
Putin then asks Trump about the CIA claiming the Russians influenced the election, and Trump shrugs it off as angry people who need to move on. Putin then praises Trump for trusting Russia more than his own government, and he goes on to say how happy he is that Trump won the election. He then pulls a gift for Trump out of the big red bag, and it turns out to be an Elf on the Shelf doll, but something is clearly not right with the toy. It’s eyes look as if they’re cameras, and as Putin is explaining the gift, he sets it on the mantlepiece beside the internet router and flips a tiny switch on the doll, and the audience can hear an audible electronic charging sound. Putin then says that Trump should leave the doll up all year.
The clip ends when Rex Tillerson shows up and acts as if he and Putin are old buddies. They do a bro-like handshake and instantly start discussing new locations for drilling in Russia. Trump stands off to the side, looking confused the entire time.