Chris Wallace Credits Judd Apatow’s Obama WHCD ‘Beatdown’ of Donald Trump for Fateful 2016 Campaign


CNN anchor Chris Wallace told filmmaker Judd Apatow that the jokes he wrote for former President Barack Obama’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner (WHCD) were a “beatdown” of then-TV host Donald Trump — suggesting the jokes delivered by Obama were so humiliating, they cemented Trump’s decision to run for office.

“It has been suggested that you are responsible for Donald Trump becoming president of the United States,” Wallace told Apatow in a recent episode of HBO Max’s Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace, to which Apatow replied, laughing, “How dare you.”

“And you know the allegation, the assertion — which I think even David Axelrod made — which was that you participated in writing jokes for Barack Obama for the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, where he famously went after a fellow in the audience named Donald Trump,” Wallace continued.

Wallace then played a short video clip of a portion of Obama’s jokes from the 2011 WHCD, in which he attacked Trump’s credentials and poked fun at The Apprentice.

“You know, a lot of people say it was because of that beatdown and that humiliation that Trump finally decided — after flirting with it for a long time — yeah, I’m gonna run,” Wallace said. “So my question is, Judd, has that been hard to live with?”

Apatow responded, “I don’t believe that history is true. That was the night that Bin Laden was killed. It was 2011, so it was five years before [Trump ran for president]. And I think that he always was flirting with it.”

“I saw the Roger Stone documentary, and I think every four years, he almost got into the game,” Apatow continued. “I think his calculation to get into the game was not like, ‘Oh, four years ago, someone made a joke. I think he certainly, as we’ve seen, wanted to be in power.”

Wallace reacted by doubling down on his claim that the jokes were a “beatdown,” stating, “I think you are underestimating the power of your beatdown of Donald Trump and the scars that it left.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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