Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is an outlandish comedy sequel that brings back the catchphrases and chram jokes that made the character a hit in 2006 while also speaking to the current political moment with its damning footage of Mike Pence downplaying the coronavirus and QAnon conspiracists outlining their theories. One comedy critic who doesn’t appreciate Sacha Baron Cohen’s satire of conservative American politics in 2020, however, is the president. On Friday, October 23, a journalist on Air Force One asked Donald Trump if he had seen the new Borat movie. According to VOA News White House bureau chief Steve Herman, Trump reportedly answered: “I don’t know what happened. But years ago, you know, he tried to scam me and I was the only one who said no way.” He added, “That’s a phony guy and I don’t find him funny” and “To me, he’s a creep.” The “scam” Trump refers to is most likely a scene from Da Ali G Show in 2003, in which Baron Cohen, in character as Ali G, tries to sell him on his invention, the “ice-cream glove.”
In the clip, Trump humors Ali G for a minute before getting up and leaving the interview, in a move he would replicate years later on 60 Minutes. On Saturday, October 24, Sacha Baron Cohen responded to Trump’s review with mutual feelings, tweeting: “Donald — I appreciate the free publicity for Borat! I admit, I don’t find you funny either. But yet the whole world laughs at you. I’m always looking for people to play racist buffoons, and you’ll need a job after Jan. 20. Let’s talk!”
If Trump doesn’t agree to a collaboration, at least Baron Cohen can use his very convincing Trump costume.