- The Secret Service opened a file on comedian John Mulaney after he joked about Trump in his SNL monologue last February.
- Records obtained by BuzzFeed News and the Associated Press note that Mulaney made no direct threat to the president.
- “In terms of a risk assessment, no one who’s ever looked at me thought I registered above a one,” Mulaney said.
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One day after comedian John Mulaney hosted “Saturday Night Live” last February, the Secret Service opened a file to investigate “inappropriate statements” Mulaney made about President Donald Trump while hosting the late-night comedy show, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News and the Associated Press through Freedom of Information Act requests.
In his opening monologue, Mulaney joked about Julius Caesar, calling him a “powerful maniac” and noting that “all the senators” stabbed him to death.
“That would be an interesting thing if we brought that back now,” Mulaney said.
Mulaney told the audience he had asked his lawyer if he could make that joke and after calling a different lawyer, his lawyer told him yes.
Mulaney hosted “SNL” on February 29, 2020, and on March 1, 2020, the Secret Service’s protective intelligence and assessment division opened a file after a Secret Service research specialist contacted the agency about the monologue, BuzzFeed News reported. The documents note that the joke was “gaining considerable attention.”
The agency records show that the Secret Service did not launch a full investigation into the matter, but an agent did contact Thomas McCarthy, senior vice president and global chief security officer of NBC on March 2, to express interest in discussing the joke with Mulaney's attorneys.
The records note that Mulaney made no direct threat to the president, and the agency did not contact the comedian directly.
"Although no direct threats were made, due to the popularity, it is likely concerned citizens will report this," the documents read.
On an appearance of Jimmy Kimmel's talk show last month, Mulaney revealed that the Secret Service had opened a file on him.
"The person vetting me was very understanding that the joke had nothing to do with Donald Trump because it was an elliptical reference to him," Mulaney said. "I didn't say anything about him. In terms of a risk assessment, no one who's ever looked at me thought I registered above a one."
The records note that the file was closed on March 5, five days after his "SNL" appearance. The agency updated the report again in December after Mulaney's appearance on Kimmel.