Ayo Edebiri confronts Nikki Haley over Civil War comment on ‘Saturday Night Live’ – NBC New York

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By Dan Sears

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley made a surprise appearance in the cold open of “Saturday Night Live,” but it wasn’t all jokes for the former U.N. ambassador.

The sketch began with a parody of CNN‘s “King Charles,” a politics show hosted by Gayle King (played by Punkie Johnson) and NBA legend Charles Barkley (played by Kenan Thompson), holding a town hall with former President Donald Trump (played by James Austin Johnson) in South Carolina.

“He’s been around the court more than me, and I was in the NBA,” Thompson said as Barkley joked.

First, the hosts start with some questions that ultimately lead to the former president spewing off a hilarious conspiracy theory about a plot to steal the 2024 election hidden in the song list of Taylor Swift‘s “Midnights.”

Then, the real-life Nikki Haley appears in the town hall crowd to ask Trump some questions of her own.

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“Oh my god, it’s the woman who was in charge of security on Jan. 6!” Johnson as Trump said after Haley’s introduction.

Haley gets in some tough questions she would probably like to ask the real Trump if she could, and the hilarious back-and-forth goes on for several minutes.

Then, Ayo Edebiri, the host of Saturday’s show, also appears in the town hall crowd, and she had a question for the real-life Haley.

“I was just curious, what would you say is the main cause of the Civil War? And do you think it starts with an s and ends with a lavery,” the recent Emmy winner asked Haley pointedly.

“Yep, I probably should have said that the first time,” Haley replied.

Haley, while campaigning in New Hampshire on Dec. 28, 2023, declined to say slavery was the cause of the Civil War. Instead, Haley talked about the role of government, replying that it involved “the freedoms of what people could and couldn’t do.”

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The former South Carolina governor backtracked 12 hours later, saying “Of course the Civil War was about slavery.”

“That’s what that was all about. It was about individual freedom. It was about economic freedom,” Haley continued. “It was about individual rights. Our goal is to make sure, no, we never go back to slavery but what’s the lesson in all of that? That we need to make sure that every person has freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to do and be anything they want to be without anyone in government getting in the way.”

GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley declined to say slavery was a cause of the civil war, arguing instead that “it came down to the role of government,” while speaking to voters in New Hampshire. Thursday, she amended her comments saying “of course the Civil War was about slavery.”

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