Editor’s Note: Dean Obeidallah, a former attorney, is the host of SiriusXM radio’s daily program “The Dean Obeidallah Show” and a columnist for The Daily Beast. Follow him @DeanObeidallah. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. This piece has been updated to reflect latest news.
There’s often truth in comedy and this week, “Saturday Night Live” was a prime example of that. The iconic late-night comedy show featured the real Stormy Daniels, explaining to a fake Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) exactly what the real Trump needs to do to end the ongoing scandal. Viewers got a glimpse of what Daniels would presumably like to say to Trump if given the chance.
Daniels – who was greeted by a huge roar of applause from the SNL studio audience – sat confidently as she spoke to “Trump.” First, Baldwin’s Trump pressed her to drop the whole case: “C’mon Stormy, stop making such a big deal about this. Everyone knows it’s just an act.”
In response, Daniels joked, “I work in adult films – we’re not really known for our acting.”
Then, “Trump” got down at brass tacks, saying to the former adult film star point blank: “Just tell me: what do you need for this to all go away?”
Daniels responded simply: “A resignation.”
That was soon followed by two very funny lines. Daniels told Baldwin, “I know you don’t believe in climate change, but a storm’s a comin’, baby!” to which Baldwin responded, “I’ve never been so scared and horny at the same time.”
But it was Trump’s desire to end this scandal and Daniels’ suggestion that resignation is Trump’s only escape that truly sum up the truth in this sketch.
We heard Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti raise the issue of Trump’s resignation after Rudy Giuliani dropped a bombshell on Wednesday. Giuliani stated that Trump had repaid his personal lawyer Michael Cohen the $130,000 he had paid to Daniels in 2016 in exchange for her silence over an alleged affair with Trump. (This contradicts Cohen’s February statement in which he claimed that Trump did not reimburse the $130,000.)
Giuliani didn’t stop there. He stated, “Imagine if that came out on Oct. 15, 2016, in the middle of the last debate with Hillary Clinton?”
Many attorneys began opining that Giuliani’s remarks made things worse for Trump. CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin, a former federal prosecutor, called Giuliani’s comment a “confession” of “a campaign finance violation.”
No one, perhaps, saw more potential for Giuliani’s comments to haunt Trump than Avenatti. In response, Avenatti set the stage for Daniels’ SNL skit: “Mr. Trump will not serve out his term. No way, no how. He will be forced to ultimately resign.”
No one knows if Trump will ultimately resign, as Avenatti has predicted, but one thing is clear, the Daniels-Trump scandal is building.
And just like Trump on SNL, Trump in the real world desperately wants to end the Daniels scandal – and quick. Trump’s frustration was palpable Friday when a reporter asked why he had changed his story about Stormy. An annoyed Trump retorted: “I’m not changing any stories. All I’m telling you is that this country is right now running so smooth. And to be bringing up that kind of crap, and to be bringing up witch hunts all the time — that’s all you want to talk about.”
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If Trump wants to end questions about this “crap,” as he put it, he has two options. He must truthfully and fully answer all the questions about this scandal including those about his “changing stories” (which need to be called “lies”). Anything less will cause the media and the American people to ask even more questions.
Or Trump can agree to the offer Daniels made to SNL’s Trump and resign. It’s his call.