While speaking to reporters on Air Force One on Friday, Trump was asked whether he was worried about security breaches after footage showed an actress from the movie apparently getting into the White House. He told reporters that he doesn't "know what happened" and followed his answer up with commentary on Baron Cohen.
“Years ago, you know, he tried to scam me," Trump said, noting Baron Cohen had disguised himself as a BBC anchor, according to a copy of the pool report obtained by USA TODAY. "That’s a phony guy. And I don’t find him funny."
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The "scam" happened 15 years ago, the president added, but he didn't elaborate. "To me he was a creep," Trump said.
Baron Cohen responded to Trump's comments on Twitter: "Donald — I appreciate the free publicity for Borat!" he wrote. "I admit, I don’t find you funny either. But yet the whole world laughs at you. I’m always looking for people to play racist buffoons, and you’ll need a job after Jan. 20. Let’s talk!"
Baron Cohen reprises his infamous role as a foul-mouthed journalist in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," which is streaming on Amazon Prime.
The nearly minute-long clip of unseen footage begins with the "One American News" logo, which Borat can be heard saying is the "most rigorous news source in America." It later shows Borat's daughter Tutar (played by actress Maria Bakalova) apparently being taken into the White House by OAN reporter Chanel Rion, Deadline reported. The footage appears to have been filmed on "Sept. 20," according to a banner across the clip.
"Trump very careful who he let into his events and house," Borat captioned the video, which shows Rion and Tutar entering the empty press briefing room in masks without. "No Covid test necessary - High 5!" the caption says. Rion has not confirmed or commented on her being in the video clip.
It's unclear if White House officials were aware Bakalova was an actress. USA TODAY has reached out to the White House for comment.