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SNL mocks the awkward tension on ‘Morning Joe’ — and takes a call from Trump’s ‘publicist’

“Saturday Night Live” took a break from a cold open focused entirely on President Trump — and instead poked fun at “Morning Joe,” with Kate McKinnon playing Mika Brzezinski and Alex Moffat as Joe Scarborough.

In the sketch, the pair launch into “the most casual of political conversations” about House Republicans’ recent passage of the GOP health-care bill. But they can barely finish a few sentences without getting distracted by their awkward sexual tension — to the horror of their in-studio guests.

“Mark Halperin,” Moffat-as-Scarborough says, breaking away from gazing at his co-host. “The Senate can’t be pleased that the House just threw this into their lap. I mean, what is their relationship like now?”

“What is their relationship like?” says Beck Bennett, who plays Halperin, an MSNBC political analyst. “Confusing.”

Last week, an MSNBC spokeswoman confirmed that the real-life “Morning Joe” co-hosts were engaged, putting to rest lingering rumors that had buzzed around the pair for months.

As usual, a pitch-perfect McKinnon-as-Brzezinski went all in on her character. (Is there anyone she can’t hilariously spoof with startling accuracy?) At one point, she gets so caught up in the moment — after her co-host calls her “naughty” — that she starts nibbling on Moffat’s nose.

Of course, it wasn’t an entirely Trump-free cold open. Midway through the sketch, McKinnon-as-Brzezinski introduces the next guest, and it’s a “publicist named John Miller live from the White House.”

The unmistakable voice of Alec Baldwin-as-Trump comes through the line. This is not actually a SNL-imagined scenario: In the 1980s, Trump was known to pose as a fictitious publicist when returning reporters’ phone calls to brag about himself.

“First, I want to wish everyone a happy Cinco de Mayo, which is the day all Mexicans eat a sink full of mayonnaise,” Baldwin-as-Trump-as-Miller says.

He then explains to the “Morning Joe” hosts that there was a White House party to celebrate the passage of the Obamacare replacement bill.

That’s when the show hosts break the news to the president: They may have celebrated prematurely, because the bill still has to pass the Senate.

“What now?” asks a confused Baldwin-as-Trump.

“The bill goes through the Senate,” Moffat-as-Scarborough advises. “They might even rewrite the entire thing if they even pass it at all.”

“But … there was beer,” Baldwin’s voice says. “You know what? We’re going to look into this.”

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski are getting hitched (Video: Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post, Photo: Jesse Dittmar/The Washington Post)

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