Since the 2016 presidential campaign, Saturday Night Live has regularly included impressions of now-President Donald Trump. And according to the actor who does them, the president's wife believes those portrayals are accurate. In an interview with Howard Stern on Monday, Alec Baldwin said Melania Trump loves his Trump impressions. The first lady's spokeswoman, however, firmly disagrees.
"I’m told she loves it," Baldwin told Stern. "More than one person, now a second person has come to us and said, yeah, it’s true. She watched SNL. She watched it online and she laughed and she said ‘That him. That’s him!'"
Melania's spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, says this isn't true. "As I said back in November when he first said this, that is not true, which is why Mr. Baldwin has no actual names to corroborate his bizarre assertion," Grisham tells Bustle. "I give him credit for trying though, eight months later and he's still trying make himself relevant by using her name."
According to Baldwin, he heard Melania enjoyed his Trump impression from "two very powerful people in Washington." And to him, it made sense. The way that he sees it, he explained, it was reasonable that the first lady might appreciate comedic jabs at her husband. He related the presidential marriage to his own.
"How could it be otherwise?" Baldwin said. "His wife must be — my wife is on to me more than anybody, no one gives it to me like my wife. She gives it to me, she kicks me in the balls like you wouldn't believe."
He also said he loves the idea that Melania enjoys his Trump impressions. "She must know what a maniac he is and what a weird guy he is," he added.
The two also discussed Trump himself, and, in particular, his reelection bid for 2020. At one point, Stern suggested that Baldwin could use his impression to run as Trump, who currently intends to seek a second term.
"Why don’t you run for president as Donald Trump?" Stern asked Baldwin.
“If I ran for president, I would win," Baldwin said. "Hands down, I would win. It would be the funniest, most exciting, craziest campaign."
However, Baldwin suggested he wasn't serious. According to him, he was "only saying that because people don’t really have a sense yet" of what the 2020 campaign is going to look like.
"Somebody great is going to come up, I hope," he said. "I’d love to run for that kind of position to just have things be very common sense. There are so many things that this country needs to do that are so obvious."
Baldwin has been lampooning Trump for years now, frequently in SNL's famous cold opens. Generally, the skits focus on some president-related news item that occurred the week before. And he's not the only one, of course. There are cast members and guests who regularly portray just about every key member of the administration, as well as any important figures working closely with them.
Just a few weeks ago, Baldwin hinted that he might stop doing the impressions so frequently. In an interview on the television show Live With Kelly and Ryan, Baldwin said he enjoyed the work. "But what’s going to happen in the future?" He said. "I don't know where I’m going to working, where I’m going to be."
As for his Trump impression, Baldwin has maintained that he believes Melania is a fan. In an episode of WNYC's The Brian Lehrer Show last November, he said that Trump was "horrified and beside himself" that his wife enjoyed the impression.
"This is a scoop I have for you, and I saved this for you, Brian Lehrer,” Baldwin said, according to The Washington Times. "Someone told me, who is friends with someone in the White House, or formerly in the White House, that Melania Trump loves 'SNL' and she loves my impersonation."
As was the case this time, Grisham firmly denied the Baldwin's claim, pointing to the fact that Baldwin has not named his source.