Jul 16, 2018

What they’re saying: Republicans claim Sacha Baron Cohen tricked them

Photo: Ben Pruchnie/WireImage

A wave of Republicans have come forward saying they were tricked into saying or endorsing things by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen on his new Showtime series, "Who is America?"

The bottom line: This isn't the first time Cohen has done something like this. In 2003, Cohen even spoke to Donald Trump on his program, "Da Ali G Show," along with other notables like Buzz Aldrin and former CIA deputy director Richard Kerr.

What they're saying
  • Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said in a Facebook post that her and her daughter were "duped" by Cohen: "I sat through a long 'interview' full of Hollywoodism’s disrespect and sarcasm - but finally had enough and literally, physically removed my mic and walked out, much to Cohen’s chagrin. The disrespect of our US military and middle-class Americans via Cohen’s foreign commentaries under the guise of interview questions was perverse."
  • Former Congressman Joe Walsh says he was "fooled" by Cohen into supporting a program that would arm children as young as three years old, called "Kinderguardians."
  • Republican Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Joe Wilson also supported the program on Cohen's show, the Washington Post reports.
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz is the only politician that refused "to endorse Kinderguardians on the spot," the Daily Beast reports.

Be smart: It's not just Republicans on Cohen's show. Sen. Bernie Sanders was also a guest, speaking about health care and wealth distribution, Yahoo reports.

  • Cohen's character, Billy Wayne Ruddick, tells Sanders: "I was a healthy man, and Obamacare came in. I was forced to see a doctor. And suddenly, I had three diseases. Suddenly, I had, uh, diabetes one and two, I had obese legs, and I had chalky deposits.”

Go deeper: Watch a first look at Baron Cohen's show below.

Go deeper

Zuckerberg says Trump’s “shooting” tweet didn’t violate Facebook’s rules

Mark Zuckerberg at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook did not remove President Trump's threat to send the National Guard to Minneapolis because the company's policy on inciting violence allows discussion on state use of force, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Friday.

The big picture: Zuckerberg's statement comes on the heels of leaked internal criticism from Facebook employees over how the company handled Trump's posts about the Minneapolis protests and his unsubstantiated claims on mail-in ballots — both of which Twitter has now taken action on.

Updated 29 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 5,916,464— Total deaths: 364,357 — Total recoveries — 2,468,634Map.
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  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
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  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.

Trump says he spoke with George Floyd's family

President Trump in the Rose Garden on May 29. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Friday that he had spoken with the family of George Floyd, a black resident of Minneapolis who died after a police officer knelt on his neck on Monday.

Driving the news: Former Vice President Joe Biden said via livestream a few hours earlier that he, too, had spoken with Floyd's family. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee implored white Americans to consider systemic injustices against African Americans more broadly, Axios' Alexi McCammond reports.