John Mulaney said comments he made on “Saturday Night Live” in February led the Secret Service to open an investigation against him.
During an interview on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” On Tuesday, the comedian – who made his debut as a writer on “SNL” – said he had received backlash for a joke that was, at most, in a roundabout reference to the sitting US president , Donald Trump, which earned him an investigation by the Secret Service.
“In February, I made a joke that was not about Donald Trump,” Mulaney said. “The joke was about how it was a leap year, and a leap year had been started by Julius Caesar to correct the calendar, and another thing that happened with Caesar was he was stabbed to death by a group of senators because he has gone mad. And I said I think it’s an interesting thing that could happen.
Since the comment made made no direct mention of Trump, and Mulaney had not drafted any “manifestos” or “rants” against the president online, he was not considered a threat to national security. But when asked if there was any information relevant to the investigation, he said he forgot to mention that he had rented an apartment in Washington DC for a year while his wife was working on a project for the Smithsonian.
“The person who examined me was very understanding that the joke had nothing to do with Donald Trump as it was an elliptical reference to him,” he said. “I didn’t say anything about him. In terms of risk assessment, no one who ever looked at me thought I signed up for above just one.
Despite the many jokes the comedian made at Trump’s expense, his comedy ultimately did not pose a real threat to the investigative team, he said.
“I said I’ve been making jokes about him since 2007, so I’ve been making fun of him for 13 years,” Mulaney said. “They said if it was a joke then I’m cleared by the Secret Service.”