In the immortal words of DJ Khaled: “another one.”
Last week, whilst assuming the guise of a zany Finnish celebrity by the name of OMGWhizzBoyOMG, Sacha Baron Cohen sat down with Joe Arpaio, a former Arizona sheriff and once-convicted racist who ran a self-described “concentration camp” for inmates.
The occasion was Who Is America?, the veteran comic’s prank series for Showtime. During the bit, Baron Cohen got Arpaio to, among other things, accept an “amazing blow job” from his good pal Donald J. Trump, who recently pardoned him. So the question on everyone’s mind was: How would Baron Cohen top it this week? The answer: nail someone even closer to POTUS.
Posing as his alter ego Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., a scuzzy, scooter-bound far-right conspiracy theorist who runs the fictional Infowars-esque website TRUTHBRARY.org, Baron Cohen snookered former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski into an interview.
Even by Trump-orbit standards, Lewandowski is a contemptible parasite. He’s been accused of battering a female reporter and repeatedly slapping singer Joy Villa’s behind, and in June he mocked a separated immigrant child with Down syndrome on national television.
On Sunday night, Lewandowski repeatedly argued that Trump was not a racist. “I had the privilege of standing and sitting next to candidate Trump—the president—for thousands of hours over my tenure running his campaign. Never did I ever hear him utter a racist word in his life,” Lewandowski said (Omarosa apparently disagrees). He later added, “The president doesn’t look at race—never has. It’s a non-issue to him.” (His record indicates otherwise.)
“With Charlottesville, where people attacked our president, why should the president pick a side between anti-fascists and fascists?” asked Baron Cohen’s Ruddick Jr.
“There is a place and a time to disagree with people—everywhere. You don’t have to agree with people. You have to respect them and you can’t be attacking them,” Lewandowski said of neo-Nazis.
“You can’t be attacking honest, fascist people that just want to express their right to start a genocide. That is their right!” fired back Baron Cohen.
“Look, I don’t know about that,” said Lewandowski, “but what I do know is this: If the law says that people can do a peaceful protest, then they should be allowed to do that.”
The comic then began pressing Lewandowski on Trump’s long history of sexism. “What about when he [called] Miss Venezuela ‘Miss Piggy’? Is that sexist?” asked Baron Cohen.
“Look, I think the president was reacting to something he wanted to react to,” offered Lewandowski in a non-answer.
“Miss Piggy is the most powerful and admired of all the Muppets. She’s not a weak woman!” Baron Cohen responded, leaving Lewandowski relatively speechless.
Later on in the program, Baron Cohen’s Finnish OMGWhizzBoyOMG character targeted Sheriff David Clarke, another Trump surrogate with a questionable history. Sheriff Clarke largely didn’t take the bait but did at one point assume the perspective of a 1930s Nazi when discussing the topic of Antifa.
“So if you were the sheriff in the ’30s in Germany and the anti-fascists were marching, the Antifa were marching, what would you have done to stop them?” asked Baron Cohen.
“Well, you have to act aggressively,” said Sheriff Clarke, adding, “use force to disperse the crowd, arrest people, and take them to jail.”