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Alec Baldwin as President Trump and Will Ferrell as EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland on "SNL." Photo: Will Heath/NBC

Will Ferrell and Alec Baldwin returned to "Saturday Night Live" to take up the roles of EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland and President Trump in the cold open, which tackled the latest dramatic moments from the impeachment inquiry.

Highlights: In the sketch, Baldwin's Trump denies any quid pro quo took place with Ukraine, saying: "Any quid after that is on them. That’s how it works. .. Besides, I don’t know this Ambassador Sondland guy. That’s fake news."

  • Enter Ferrell's Sondland, who tells reporters: "Keep the quid pro quo on the low-low, got it. I want to go on the record and say you guys need to lay off my boy. Everybody loves his ass. Ukraine, Russia — They’ll do anything for this man. I know. I asked."
  • After the cold open, "SNL" moved on to perfectly skewer last Wednesday's Democratic presidential debate. Watch out for Woody Harrleson's star turn as former vice president Joe Biden, below.

The big picture: Ferrell was also hosting Saturday's "SNL" show — the fifth time he has done so. It's a feat that puts him in the "Five-Timers Club" alongside fellow stars such as Bill Murray, Tina Fey and Justin Timberlake, per the New York Times.

Go deeper: "SNL" cold open reimagines impeachment hearings as a soap opera

Go deeper

57 mins ago - World

Putin foe Navalny to be detained for 30 days after returning to Moscow

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Photo: Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny has been ordered to remain in pre-trial detention for 30 days, following his arrest upon returning to Russia on Sunday for the first time since a failed assassination attempt last year.

Why it matters: The detention of Navalny, an anti-corruption activist and the most prominent domestic critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has already set off a chorus of condemnations from leaders in Europe and the U.S.

Biden picks Warren allies to lead SEC, CFPB

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has selected FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra to be the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Obama-era Wall Street regulator Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Why it matters: Both picks are progressive allies of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and viewed as likely to take aggressive steps to regulate big business.

The perils of organizing underground

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Researchers see one bright spot as far-right extremists turn to private and encrypted online platforms: Friction.

Between the lines: For fringe organizers, those platforms may provide more security than open social networks, but they make it harder to recruit new members.