Update, post-SNL at bottom Alec Baldwin might not be the only one riling up Donald Trump tonight. A progressive veterans group will attempt to get its hard-hitting message to the president in the most expedient way it can think of: via Saturday Night Live.
VoteVets, a group describing itself as the largest progressive veterans group in America with more than 500,000 vets, families and supporters, says it will air its controversial commercial during SNL tonight, demanding continued health care coverage for veterans. (Watch it above.)
“Hey @realDonaldTrump – remember us?” VoteVets says in a tweet that includes the commercial. “Since you won’t meet with vets at the WH, we’re airing this ad on #SNL this weekend to get on your TV.”
The commercial, which aired earlier this week on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, makes a potent, direct demand of the president. Opening on a tight shot of a man doing squats with a heavy barbell on his shoulders, the ad gradually pulls back to reveal the weightlifting man (an Afghanistan War veteran, according to the group) is missing a leg. But it’s the voice-over narration that’s carries the real heft:
“President Trump, I hear you watch the morning shows. Here’s what I do every morning. Look, you lost the popular vote, you’re having trouble drawing a crowd and your approval rating keeps sinking. But kicking thousands of my fellow veterans off their health insurance by killing the Affordable Care Act, and banning Muslims, won’t help. That’s not the America I sacrificed for. You want to be a legitimate president, sir? Then act like one.”
Trump, of course, is known to hate-watch SNL, often tweeting his disapproval afterwards. He was Twitter-silent about last week’s appearance by Melissa McCarthy as Trump spokesman Sean Spicer, though reports say he certainly saw it.
And tonight’s episode might really draw the president’s attention, with Baldwin hosting the entire episode for a record 17th time. Though Rosie O’Donnell offered to appear as Trump strategist Steve Bannon earlier this week, her spokeswoman has confirmed it’s not happening.
VoteVets’ original tweet did not indicate whether the spot would air in all markets, but a later tweet said the ad would air in Florida, where the president is hosting Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In a message directed to @realDonaldTrump, the group said “Our ad will run during @nbcsnl in Mar-a-lago tonight so #veterans can finally have your attention.”