The 50-year-old comedian, who hosted this year’s Academy Awards for the second year in a row, kicked off his monologue by poking fun at the president’s latest scandal and likening it to the Guillermo del Toro film — which tells the story of a mute cleaning lady in 1960s Baltimore who strikes up a romance with a mysterious aquatic creature.
“Trump always has a problem with the Academy Awards, which is surprising because I really think he would love The Shape of Water,” Kimmel teased. “It’s about a monster that has sex with a woman who can’t talk about it. It’s basically like his life story!”
As viewers know, the president, 71, has been accused of trying to silence Daniels about the nature of their relationship. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, even admitting to making a “private transaction” of $130,000 out of his own pocket to Clifford in 2016 to keep her quiet.
Daniels 38, filed a civil suit against President Trump in Los Angeles on Tuesday. According to documents publicly shared by her lawyer Michael Avenatti on Twitter, Daniels (born Stephanie Clifford) claims the nondisclosure agreement provided to her by Cohen is invalid because Tump did not sign it, thus “rendering it legally null and void and of no consequence.”
Avenatti also appeared on Today Wednesday, and when co-host Savannah Guthrie directly asked him whether Daniels had a sexual relationship with the president, he replied “Yes.”
Daniels states in the documents that she and Trump had multiple sexual encounters, including at a July 2006 golf tournament in Lake Tahoe and “well into the year 2007.” (The White House and Cohen have denied Daniels’ allegation of an affair.)
Meanwhile, Kimmel’s Shape of Water joke was prompted by Trump’s own dig at the Oscars.
Trump had tweeted about the ceremony on Tuesday after Nielsen’s preliminary ratings reported an average audience of 26.5 million — down 19 percent from last year’s 32.9 million
“Lowest rated Oscars in HISTORY,” Trump wrote. “Problem is, we don’t have Stars anymore — except your President (just kidding, of course)!”
But Kimmel wasn’t laughing, quickly responding to Trump on Twitter with some statistics of his own. “Thanks, lowest rated President in history,” he wrote, citing an Associated Press analysis taken at the end of Trump’s first term.
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He expanded on the joke in his monologue. “Trump loves saying the ratings are down to insinuate it’s a show of some kind of support for him,” Kimmel explained. “But the truth is, every year since Netflix happened, the ratings are down for every big TV event: the Super Bowl, the Grammys, the Emmys, the Golden Globes. But Trump thinks he caused the ratings to go down.”
“I also want to point out, because I know he would hate it, that my tweet got more than twice as many likes as his tweet,” Kimmel added. “I know that’s the thing that will get under his orange skin!”
As for Trump’s joke that he’s the only star around, Kimmel saw the humor in his statement.
“Of course he’s kidding!” Kimmel said. “You’re not narcissistic at all!”