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SNL’s Robert Mueller can’t commit to collusion in Bachelor sendup

Arie couldn’t commit to Becca, and Mueller can’t promise collusion.

Emily Stewart covers business and economics for Vox and writes the newsletter The Big Squeeze, examining the ways ordinary people are being squeezed under capitalism. Before joining Vox, she worked for TheStreet.

Saturday Night Live kicked off this weekend’s show with a mashup of two big (and entirely unrelated) stories from the week: the Bachelor season finale — in which the show’s titular suitor chose one contestant as his bride-to-be, only to later film their breakup and propose to another — and special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. And just as Arie Luyendyk Jr. broke Becca Kufrin’s heart, SNL showed Mueller breaking America’s heart by saying the case that that Trump campaign colluded with Russia just might not be there.

In SNL’s cold open on Saturday, Kufrin (played by Cecily Strong) tells cameras, “The past few months have been such a whirlwind, but I finally feel like I’m in a place where I can see the future so clearly. I just want to get to the point where this is all over and life goes back to normal. I’m excited to see him.”

Then appears special counsel Mueller (Kate McKinnon). It gets awkward immediately.

“How do I start this conversation? So you know that I’ve been struggling a little bit over the few months, just, like, trying to figure this whole thing out and, like, grasp everything. And the reality is that I don’t, I don’t think that I can give you everything that you want right now, you know? And I think you sense that,” McKinnon says.

“So what, you don’t have Trump on collusion?” Strong says.

“Well, I just, um, I think I need to explore the possibility that I might have a stronger case with some other stuff,” McKinnon says.

Strong is disbelieving, noting that Mueller has indicted 13 Russians and mentioning a mysterious meeting between a Trump associate and a Russian fund manager in Seychelles. McKinnon: “I’m trying to be honest with you and tell you that I can’t commit to collusion right now.” She continues later, saying, “The more time that goes by, you know, the more that I keep thinking about obstruction.”

“This is so fucking embarrassing,” Strong says. “Collusion is literally the only thing I’ve been looking forward to for the past year.”

The scene plays out much as The Bachelor’s season finale did this week, when ABC aired Luyendyk’s breakup with Kufrin unedited and in a split screen. Luyendyk awkwardly hovered, even as Kufrin repeatedly asked him to leave and walked to the bathroom to cry.

“So that’s it? He’s just going to be president?” Strong, emerging from the bathroom after crying, asks.

“I don’t know how to answer that,” McKinnon says.

The pair continues to discuss the cloud of smoke around the Trump administration, including the growing scandal surrounding Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who was paid $130,000 by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to keep quiet about her alleged relationship with the president ahead of 2016’s election. “That’s definitely fun; that’s just, like, not what I’m doing,” McKinnon says.

As McKinnon prepares to leave, she points out that the alternative to Trump would be current Vice President Mike Pence and asks whether Strong owns American steel. McKinnon returns for one last line: “Look, if it makes you feel any better, the Kush is cooked, and you’re the next bachelorette.”

Kufrin was indeed chosen as the next bachelorette. As for the collusion question, well, Democrats banking on Trump collusion findings might want to heed SNL’s quiet warning.

SNL also takes aim at the Trump show

Later in the evening, SNL offered up a sendup of NBC’s drama This Is Us, which Saturday’s host, Sterling K. Brown, stars in. The show aired a parody commercial, This Is US, featuring the “real-life drama happening in our government every day.” The commercial includes Brown as HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Aidy Bryant as press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Pete Davidson as the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, Cecily Strong as Stormy Daniels, and Kate McKinnon as presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway.

“Millions of Americans have tuned into the show that’s captivating a nation,” the commercial’s voiceover says. “A drama so unnerving you can’t look away.”

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