On Wednesday night, Susan Sarandon returned to Chris Hayes’s prime-time show on MSNBC for the first time since she caused a firestorm by seeming to say a Donald Trump presidency might not be the worst thing in the world.
“Last year she made headlines for suggesting she might not support the eventual Democratic nominee,” Hayes said in his introduction of the actress and strong Bernie Sanders advocate during the 2016 campaign.
That was a bit of an understatement.
In their original interview nearly a year ago, Sarandon said “a lot of people just can’t bring themselves” to vote for Clinton and said she would “see what happens” regarding her general-election vote. “People feel Donald Trump will bring the revolution immediately, if he gets in then things will really explode,” she said.
“That went kinda viral,” Hayes said of Sarandon’s statement.
Sarandon, who was joined by environmental activist Josh Fox to talk about the uncertain future of the Dakota Access Pipeline, faced some tough questions from the host about how she feels now that Trump has been in office for three and a half weeks.
“Do you feel like you properly appreciated what a Donald Trump presidency would be?” Hayes asked her.
“I think that I absolutely feel that talking about blaming people for what happened is really wasting your time and energy,” Sarandon replied. “Because what we have now is a populous that is awake.”
She went on to say that Trump is “so clumsy and so bad” at putting policy together that “now everyone is awake.” She insisted that she’s not in favor of a “revolution” brought on by Trump’s misdeeds instead of the one we could have had with Sanders in office. To the people that would “attack” her for her statements, she asked, “Really? That’s where we want to spend our time and energy?”
Sarandon sat stone-faced when Hayes pointed out that the “status quo” she feared may have just gotten “much, much worse.” For instance, he said, the head of Exxon is the secretary of State.
“Could you look me in the eyes, both of you, and say, ‘Yes, 24 days into the Trump administration, this is about what I expected it would be?’” Hayes asked. “A better question might have been, ‘Do you really think Hillary Clinton would have been worse?’”
“What is the point of even saying that?” Sarandon shot back. Instead of answering him, she challenged the host to look her in the eyes and say that he was “doing his job to cover these issues completely.”
“Yes, I can,” Hayes said, without hesitation.