Alec Baldwin as President Trump on "Saturday Night Live at Home." Screenshot photo: NBC/YouTube

Alec Baldwin was back as President Trump for a virtual high school graduation skit in the final "Saturday Night Live" cold open of season 45.

The big picture: Kate McKinnon as the high school principal noted in the third "Saturday Night Live at Home" episode that students' preferred keynote speakers were the "murder hornets" and former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama — who are due to participate in virtual graduation ceremonies in real life — but they declined. Instead, they got Baldwin's Trump, who at one point pretended to drink bleach, in a nod to Trump's comments last month that disinfectant could be used to treat coronavirus. The president said later he was being sarcastic.

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Aug 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Michelle Obama: "Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country ... it is what it is"

Michelle Obama said Monday night that from coronavirus deaths to the economy to foreign alliances and racial justice, President Trump has sewn "chaos, division and a total and utter lack of empathy."

The big picture: The former first lady is one of the most popular and motivating figures across the ideological range of the Democratic Party, and is one of the most powerful voices for turning out women and voters of color. Her speech was recorded. While she reprised her 2016 mantra — "When they go low, we go high" — Obama was direct in her criticism of Trump.

Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Americans feel Trump's sickness makes him harder to trustFlorida breaks record for in-person early voting.
  2. Health: The next wave is gaining steam.
  3. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots.
  4. World: Ireland moving back into lockdown — Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million infections.

Meadows confirms Trump's tweets "declassifying" Russia documents were false

Photo: Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows confirmed in court on Tuesday that President Trump's tweets authorizing the disclosure of documents related to the Russia investigation and Hillary Clinton's emails "were not self-executing declassification orders," after a federal judge demanded that Trump be asked about his intentions.

Why it matters: BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold cited the tweets in an emergency motion seeking to gain access to special counsel Robert Mueller's unredacted report as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. This is the first time Trump himself has indicated, according to Meadows, that his tweets are not official directives.