It was the middle of Donald Trump’s presidency, and he was—yet again—mad at Saturday Night Live. And he wanted the federal government to help him settle the score. In March 2019, the then-president of the United States had just watched an episode of the long-running, liberal-leaning NBC sketch comedy series (it wasn’t even a new episode, it was a rerun), and grew immediately incensed that the show was gently mocking him. “It’s truly incredible that shows like Saturday Night Live, not funny/no talent, can spend all of their time knocking the same person (me), over & over, without so much of a mention of ‘the other side,’” Trump tweeted, long before he was banned from Twitter for inspiring a violent mob. “Like an advertisement without consequences. Same with Late Night Shows. Should Federal Election Commission and/or FCC look into this?”
It was, on its face, a ridiculous question and threat, as SNL is obviously satire, and therefore a form of protected speech in America that pissed-off commanders-in-chief have no authority to directly subvert. However, then-President Trump went farther than simply tweeting his displeasure with the late-night comedians and SNL writers’ room. The internal discussions that followed, between the former leader of the free world and some of his political and legal advisers, once again underscored just how much Trump wanted to use the full weight and power of the U.S. government to punish his personal enemies.
Now bear in mind that Pol POTUS lives for revenge, and one can make the argument that the reason he ran in the 2016 Goat Rodeo was because President Obama made fun of him —to his face— at the Nerd Prom. We could go through a litany of targets (individuals, groups, even entire countries –including Denmark for saying it was absurd for him to try to buy Greenland!) for his vengeance if we had time.
So yeah, it totally scans that he would try to sic his pet DOJ on SNL.