While speaking to reporters on Air Force One on Friday, Trump was asked whether he was worried about security breaches after footage showed an actress from the movie apparently getting into the White House. He told reporters that he doesn’t “know what happened” and followed his answer up with commentary on Baron Cohen.
“Years ago, you know, he tried to scam me,” Trump said, noting Baron Cohen had disguised himself as a BBC anchor, according to a copy of the pool report obtained by USA TODAY. “That’s a phony guy. And I don’t find him funny.”
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The “scam” happened 15 years ago, the president added, but he didn’t elaborate. “To me he was a creep,” Trump said.
Baron Cohen responded to Trump’s comments on Twitter: “Donald—I appreciate the free publicity for Borat!” he wrote. “I admit, I don’t find you funny either. But yet the whole world laughs at you. I’m always looking for people to play racist buffoons, and you’ll need a job after Jan. 20. Let’s talk!”
Baron Cohen reprises his infamous role as a foul-mouthed journalist in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” which is streaming on Amazon Prime.
The nearly minute-long clip of unseen footage begins with the “One American News” logo, which Borat can be heard saying is the “most rigorous news source in America.” It later shows Borat’s daughter Tutar (played by actress Maria Bakalova) apparently being taken into the White House by OAN reporter Chanel Rion, Deadline reported. The footage appears to have been filmed on “Sept. 20,” according to a banner across the clip.
“Trump very careful who he let into his events and house,” Borat captioned the video, which shows Rion and Tutar entering the empty press briefing room in masks without. “No Covid test necessary – High 5!” the caption says. Rion has not confirmed or commented on her being in the video clip.
It’s unclear if White House officials were aware Bakalova was an actress. USA TODAY has reached out to the White House for comment.
Fourteen years after the original “Borat” mockumentary, Baron Cohen is back as his most infamous role as a wildly uncouth reporter in the silly, scattershot sequel.
This time, Borat’s journey to America – filmed during the pandemic – revolves around his teenage daughter, Tutar. But that narrative serves as fleetingly funny, often momentum-killing filler between pranking unsuspecting participants, usually of the Republican persuasion.
The clip posted Friday wasn’t the first to spark discussion.
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer and the former mayor of New York City, was caught in a questionable situation with Bakolava in the film. The plot has Borat wanting to “gift” his daughter to Giuliani to pay respect to Trump, though he ultimately has a change of heart.
Giuliani proclaimed innocence on his WABC talk show Wednesday afternoon, calling the incident a “hit job” and Baron Cohen an “idiot.”
Baron Cohen, in an interview with Good Morning America on Friday, responded to Giuliani’s claims that the video was “a complete fabrication.”
“I would say that if the president’s lawyer found what he did there appropriate behavior, then heaven knows what he’s done with other female journalists in hotel rooms,” Baron Cohen said. “I just urge everyone to watch the movie, it is what it is. He did what he did.”
Critics praise: Sacha Baron Cohen’s ‘Borat 2’ as ‘fitfully funny’ and ‘urgently satirical’
Contributing: Brian Truitt
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump calls Sacha Baron Cohen ‘a creep’ after ‘Borat’ clip shows actress entering White House