On Sunday, Sacha Baron Cohen climbed back onto the scooter as his right-wing conspiracy theorist character Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr. for a new Who Is America? segment, and it did not disappoint. This time around, Ruddick wasn't arguing with Bernie Sanders about basic math facts or leaving Ted Koppel supremely frustrated, though. He was having a much more agreeable chat with former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski about the 2017 Charlottesville riots, and the, uh, importance of respecting neo-Nazis.
"With Charlottesville, where people attacked our president, why should the president pick a side between anti-fascists and fascists?" Cohen-as-Ruddick asked during the segment. "He's the president of all people!"
"There is a place and a time to disagree with people everywhere, OK? You don't have to agree with people," Lewandowski said, noncommittally. "You have to respect them and you can’t be attacking them."
"You can’t be attacking honest, fascist people who just want to express their right to start a genocide," Ruddick pressed, "that is their right!"
"Look, I don’t know about that," Lewandowski went on, "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."
Lewandowski, a man who once openly mocked an immigrant child with down syndrome, also repeatedly argued that Trump was not a racist, telling Ruddick that "the president doesn’t look at race" and that it is "a non-issue."
"I had the privilege of standing and sitting next to candidate Trump—and now the president—for thousands of hours over my tenure running his campaign," he said. "Never ever ever did I ever hear him utter a racist word in his life. Ever!"
The guy may have stopped short of echoing Trump's sentiments that there were "very fine people" on both sides of the Charlottesville riots last year, but he spent the entire interview almost visibly struggling to balance on a very thin line while Cohen grilled him on neo-Nazis and how PBS is actually owned by a secret cabal of Rastafarians.
He isn't the interviewee who wound up looking the worst in Sunday night's episode—that'd be the gun rights crusader who angrily bit a dildo—or one most likely to have ruined his career—that'd be the RapGenius founder. But the awkward segment once again proves Cohen's mind-boggling ability to get access to just about anyone—who knows what other members of Trump's inner circle will pop up to defend the merits of Nazism or whatever over the course of the last two episodes.
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