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Ayo Edebiri Asks Nikki Haley if Slavery Caused the Civil War in ‘SNL’ Cold Open; Haley Admits, ‘I Should Have Said That the First Time’

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Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley crashed “Saturday Night Live” on Feb. 3 to taunt Donald Trump (played by James Austin Johnson) in a town hall sketch, but ended up getting schooled by host Ayo Edebiri.

Popping up at the end of the sketch, Edebiri posed a pointed question: “I was just curious, what would you say was the main cause of the civil war? And do you think it starts with an S and ends with a ‘lavery’?”

“Yeah, I probably should have said that the first time,” Haley admitted.

Edebiri’s joke was a reference to a December 2023 town hall in New Hampshire where a voter asked Haley what caused the war, to which she responded, “I think the cause of the Civil War was basically how government was going to run. The freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do.”

Before Edebiri appeared, Haley was the one asking the questions. She showed up by surprise, asking Johnson (as Trump), “Why won’t you debate Nikki Haley?,” referencing Trump’s refusal thus far to participate in debates for the 2024 presidential race.

“Oh, my god. It’s her,” he replied. “The woman who was in charge of security on Jan. 6th. It’s Nancy Pelosi!” He went on to reference being sued by Stormy Daniels, saying, “Women should never run our economy. Women should never run our country. A woman I know asked me for $83.3 million.”

“Do you need to borrow some money?” Haley retorted.

Earlier in the sketch, Johnson joked about right-wing conspiracy theorists who believe Taylor Swift is a government psyop.

“President Trump, if elected, what would you do to stop Taylor Swift from infiltrating the Super Bowl and stealing the election?” asked a voter played by Heidi Gardner.

“That’s actually one of the smartest and most researched questions I think possibly ever heard. We all know that Biden has brainwashed Tay-Tay,” he said. “Now they’ve got Tay-Tay pretending to date Tray-Kay. He can’t even get Taylor tickets near the field. He’s got her way up in a little box. So sad.”