“Saturday Night Live” took on recent comments by Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossHillicon Valley: Court delays ruling against Qualcomm | Google asks employees not to talk politics at work | Facebook releases early emails discussing Cambridge Analytica | Bannon to release anti-Huawei film Bannon to release anti-Huawei film 'Claws of the Red Dragon' Trump administration announces deal to avert tariffs on Mexican tomatoes MORE, who said he didn’t understand why federal workers were turning to food banks during the partial government shutdown.

In the show’s cold open Saturday night, cast member Kate McKinnon, playing Ross, expressed remorse for the comment, saying it was “silly of me.”

“I simply meant that there are other ways of getting money,” McKinnon’s Ross told Alex Moffat as Fox News’s Tucker Carlson. “Like, they could have liquidated some of their stocks or sold one of their paintings.”


Ross was criticized as “out of touch” last week after suggesting that federal employees should take out low-interest loans. He later said he is “painfully aware” that federal workers are facing financial hardship after missing paychecks.

On SNL, McKinnon’s Ross suggested that federal workers could even sell less famous paintings, saying that “the small things add up."

“Even if they sold a lesser Picasso, that’s still going to get you through a week or two of yacht maintenance,” McKinnon as Ross said. “We all have to make sacrifices in times of hardship. For example, instead of going out to dinner you could open a restaurant in your house, or, for a period of time, you could have your horses attend public school.”

The 35-day shutdown, which was the longest in U.S. history, ended Friday after President TrumpDonald John TrumpDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' EU says it will 'respond in kind' if US slaps tariffs on France Ginsburg again leaves Supreme Court with an uncertain future MORE agreed to temporarily reopen the government without funding for his proposed border wall. The measure funds the government through Feb. 15. Trump warned that he may declare a national emergency to build the wall, or shut down the government again, if he does not get a “fair deal” on border security funding before then.