Newly released footage from the Borat sequel took a critical look at the White House’s health protocols. The clip showed an actress from the movie touring the building and getting close to President Donald Trump when she had reportedly not taken a COVID-19 test.
On Friday, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen tweeted footage from the new movie that showed actress Maria Bakalova in the White House, taking a tour of the press area. As The Daily Mail noted, the promo appeared to mock the Trump administration for failing to take proper precautions. The character Borat narrated the clip, saying that Bakalova was able to gain access to the White House and see the President speak even though she had not been tested for the coronavirus. The footage did not make it into the film, which was released on Friday.
Trump very careful who he let into his events and house. No Covid test necessary – High 5! pic.twitter.com/Kf5gGk3n2M
— Borat (@BoratSagdiyev) October 23, 2020
As The Daily Mail added, the actress was able to get close to a number of top Trump team members over the course of several months. The most notable of these was a hotel room encounter with former New York City mayor turned Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who was seen reclining on a bed and putting his hands into his pants during an encounter with Bakalova, who was playing a journalist at the time.
“The White House visit is one of three encounters which span months,” the British newspaper noted. “Bakalova – who at the time was brunette – was both at a Trump reception for supporters in Phoenix and shook hands with Don Jr. at the CPAC conservative conference, both in February. She visited the White House – this time with blond hair – in September, two months after the Giuliani encounter. Bakalov is 24, but her character in the movie is his 15-year-old daughter.”
Giuliani has already come under fire for his scene, with critics saying he exhibited poor judgment for putting himself in that situation. There was no evidence that he believed her to be 15, the age of the character.
Trump has come under fire for what many critics see as lax protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus. His campaign has been sharply criticized for holding large, in-person events that often do not have requirements for social distancing. Many of these events have also not required masks, which became a sharper point of criticism after Trump and a number of top Republicans tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month.
A number of those who tested positive had attended a reception for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, an event where many were in tight proximity and few wore masks.