Alec Baldwin defends playing Trump on ‘SNL’ during president’s COVID-19 hospitalization

Alec Baldwin is responding to critics who don’t think he should have played Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live amid the president’s COVID-19 hospitalization.

The actor took to Instagram on Sunday to discuss his appearance on the NBC sketch show’s season premiere. He spoke about the “considerable criticism” he received, “beyond some people sick of me doing this” in general, for “the perception that we are mocking [Trump] while he’s sick.”

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Baldwin said that the SNL team is a “savvy” crew who “don’t want to sink the ship. So if there was ever the suggestion that Trump was truly, gravely ill, and people said, ‘Trump is really in trouble,’ then I would bet you everything I have that we wouldn’t even get near that, in terms of content of the show. They would have done something else. I’ve seen that happen before.”

He continued, “We only have the words of the White House itself and the people who work there themselves to go on, and all of them have all been saying he is not in any danger. We only have their word to go by. And if their word was that he was in serious trouble, then we probably wouldn’t have done it. But that’s not the case. If they said he was in serious trouble, I can assure you we would not have done it. But that’s not the case.”

Baldwin appeared in the cold open in which the show spoofed Trump’s debate with Jim Carrey making his debut as Joe Biden.

41 PHOTOSAlec Baldwin as Donald Trump on 'SNL'See GalleryAlec Baldwin as Donald Trump on 'SNL'SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — “Chris Rock” Episode 1786 — Pictured: (l-r) Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, Jim Carrey as Joe Biden, and Maya Rudolph as Kamala Harris during the “First Debate” Cold Open on Saturday, October 3, 2020 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — “Chris Rock” Episode 1786 — Pictured: (l-r) Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Jim Carrey as Joe Biden during the “First Debate” Cold Open on Saturday, October 3, 2020 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — “Kristen Wiig” Episode 1785Q — Pictured in this screengrab: Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump during the “Virtual Graduation” Cold Open on Saturday, May 9, 2020 — (Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — “Will Ferrell” Episode 1774 — Pictured: Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump during the “Trump Helicopter” Cold Open on Saturday, November 23, 2019 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — “JJ Watt” Episode 1779 — Pictured: Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump during the “Impeachment Fantasy” Cold Open on Saturday, February 1, 2020 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Episode 1742 ‘Chadwick Boseman’ — Pictured: Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump during ‘Trump Baltic States Cold Open’ in Studio 8H on Saturday, April 7, 2018 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Episode 1734 — Pictured: (l-r) Leslie Jones as Omarosa Manigault, Alec Baldwin as President Donald J. Trump during ‘White House Tree Trimming Cold Open’ in Studio 8H on Saturday, December 16, 2017 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Episode 1734 — Pictured: (l-r) Alec Baldwin as President Donald J. Trump, Cecily Strong as First Lady Melania Trump, Scarlett Johansson as Ivanka Trump during ‘White House Tree Trimming Cold Open’ in Studio 8H on Saturday, December 16, 2017 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Episode 1732 — Pictured: (l-r) Cecily Strong as First Lady Melania Trump, Alec Baldwin as President Donald J. Trump during ‘White House Cold Open’ in Studio 8H on Saturday, December 2, 2017 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Episode 1732 — Pictured: (l-r) Alec Baldwin as President Donald J. Trump, Mikey Day as Michael Flynn during ‘White House Cold Open’ in Studio 8H on Saturday, December 2, 2017 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Episode 1732 — Pictured: (l-r) Kate McKinnon as Hillary Rodham Clinton, Alec Baldwin as President Donald J. Trump during ‘White House Cold Open’ in Studio 8H on Saturday, December 2, 2017 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Episode 1729 — Pictured: (l-r) Alec Baldwin as President, Donald J. Trump, Kate McKinnon as Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, Alex Moffat as Paul Manafort, Beck Bennett as Vice President, Mike Pence during ‘Manafort’s House Cold Open’ in Studio 8H on Saturday, November 4, 2017 — (Photo by: (Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — Episode 1729 — Pictured: (l-r) Alex Moffat as Paul Manafort, Alec Baldwin as President, Donald J. Trump during ‘Manafort’s House Cold Open’ in Studio 8H on Saturday, November 4, 2017 — (Photo by: (Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Kumail Nanjiani’ Episode 1728 — Pictured: Alec Baldwin as President Donald J. Trump during ‘Trucker Rally Cold Open’ on Saturday, October 14, 2017 in Studio 8H — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Ryan Gosling’ Episode 1726 — Pictured: (l-r) Aidy Bryant as White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Alec Baldwin as President of the United States Donald Trump during ‘Cold Open’ in studio 8H on September 30, 2017 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Dwayne Johnson’ Episode 1725 — Pictured: (l-r) advisor Steve Bannon, Aidy Bryant as Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Beck Bennett as Vice President Pence, Cecily Strong as First Lady Melania Trump, Alec Baldwin as President Donald J. Trump, Scarlett Johansson as Ivanka Trump, Kate McKinnon as Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, Alex Moffat, Mikey Day in ‘Hallelujah Cold Open’ in Studio 8H on May 20, 2017 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Melissa McCarthy’ Episode 1724 — Pictured: (l-r) Melissa McCarthy as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump during ‘Spicer Returns’ in Studio 8H on May 13, 2017 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Melissa McCarthy’ Episode 1724 — Pictured: (l-r) Melissa McCarthy as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump during ‘Spicer Returns’ in Studio 8H on May 13, 2017 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Jimmy Fallon’ Episode 1722 — Pictured: (l-r) Jimmy Fallon as Jared Kushner, and Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump during the ‘Trump Cold Open’ sketch on April 15, 2017 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Louis C.K.’ Episode 1721 — Pictured: (l-r) Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump during the ‘Trump People’s Cold Open’ on April 8, 2017 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Scarlett Johansson’ Episode 1720 — Pictured: Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump during the ‘Alien Attack’ Cold Open on March 11, 2017 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Alec Baldwin’ Episode 1718 — Pictured: (l-r) Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump during the ‘Trump People’s Court’ sketch on February 11, 2017 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Felicity Jones’ Episode 1715 — Pictured: (l-r) Cecily Strong as a lawyer and Alec Baldwin as President Elect Donald J. Trump during the Trump Press Conference Cold Open on January 14th, 2017 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Kristen Wiig’ Episode 1711 — Pictured: (l-r) Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Beck Bennett as Mike Pence during the ‘Donald Trump Prepares Cold Open’ sketch on November 19, 2016 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Kristen Wiig’ Episode 1711 — Pictured: (l-r) Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Bobby Moynihan as Peter Chocksell during the ‘Donald Trump Prepares Cold Open’ sketch on November 19, 2016 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Kristen Wiig’ Episode 1711 — Pictured: Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump during the ‘Donald Trump Prepares Cold Open’ sketch on November 19, 2016 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Emma Stone’ Episode 1712 — Pictured: (l-r) Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway, Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, and Beck Bennett as Mike Pence during the ‘Classroom Cold Open’ sketch on December 3, 2016 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Casey Affleck’ Episode 1714 — Pictured: (l-r) Kate McKinnon as Kellyanne Conway, Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump, and Cecily Strong as Melania Trump during the ‘Donald Trump Christmas Cold Open’ sketch on December 17, 2016 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Casey Affleck’ Episode 1714 — Pictured: (l-r) John Goodman as Rex Tillerson, Beck Bennett as Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump during the ‘Donald Trump Christmas Cold Open’ sketch on December 17, 2016 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Benedict Cumberbatch’ Episode 1709 — Pictured: (l-r) Beck Bennett as Russian President Vladimir Putin and Alec Baldwin as Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump during the ‘Hillary Clinton / Donald Trump Cold Open’ sketch on November 5, 2016 — (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Benedict Cumberbatch’ Episode 1709 — Pictured: Alec Baldwin as Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump during the ‘Hillary Clinton / Donald Trump Cold Open’ sketch on November 5, 2016 — (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Benedict Cumberbatch’ Episode 1709 — Pictured: (l-r) A Ku Klux Klan member and Alec Baldwin as Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump during the ‘Hillary Clinton / Donald Trump Cold Open’ sketch on November 5, 2016 — (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Benedict Cumberbatch’ Episode 1709 — Pictured: (l-r) Alec Baldwin as Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon as Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton during the ‘Hillary Clinton / Donald Trump Cold Open’ sketch on November 5, 2016 — (Photo by: Alex Schaefer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Benedict Cumberbatch’ Episode 1709 — Pictured: (l-r) Alec Baldwin as Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon as Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton during the ‘Hillary Clinton / Donald Trump Cold Open’ sketch on November 5, 2016 — (Photo by: Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Benedict Cumberbatch’ Episode 1709 — Pictured: (l-r) Kate McKinnon as Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton and Alec Baldwin as Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump during the ‘Hillary Clinton / Donald Trump Cold Open’ sketch on November 5, 2016 — (Photo by: Alex Schaefer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Margot Robbie’ Episode 1705 — Pictured: Alec Baldwin as Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump during the ‘Debate Cold Open’ sketch on October 1, 2016 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Margot Robbie’ Episode 1705 — Pictured: Alec Baldwin as Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump during the ‘Debate Cold Open’ sketch on October 1, 2016 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Lin-Manuel Miranda’ Episode 1706 — Pictured: Alec Baldwin as Republican Prudential Candidate Donald Trump during the ‘VP Debate Cold Open’ sketch on October 8, 2016 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Emily Blunt’ Episode 1707 — Pictured: (l-r) Kate McKinnon as Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton and Alec Baldwin as Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump during the ‘Debate Cold Open’ sketch on October 15, 2016 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Emily Blunt’ Episode 1707 — Pictured: (l-r) Alec Baldwin as Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon as Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton during the ‘Debate Cold Open’ sketch on October 15, 2016 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE — ‘Emily Blunt’ Episode 1707 — Pictured: (l-r) Alec Baldwin as Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon as Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton during the ‘Debate Cold Open’ sketch on October 15, 2016 — (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)Up Next

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Baldwin said they decided “the debate was something topical” that they had to cover. “We didn’t have anything with him in a hospital bed, but we had the debate. You’d have to have a very good reason to avoid that, topicality-wise, and nobody thought that they were mocking somebody’s illness by doing that.”

The star who has portrayed Trump on the show many times throughout his presidency — and is not a supporter — added that there “are a lot of people out there who have the deepest amount of animosity I could possibly calculate in my adult life toward Trump, but there’s a line they won’t cross. They wouldn’t say, ‘I wish something happened to him,’ or that he died, or whatever.”

As for “people who do that,” he added, “that’s not the way it should be.”

ON the same that Baldwin’s video was released, the president — who was to be quarantining amid his hospitalization for the infectious virus — was driven around the outside of the hospital to wave to supporters. Meanwhile, his press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, is the latest in his circle to test positive for COVID-19.

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