U.S. politician denounces Sacha Baron Cohen’s televised guns prank as ‘sick fraud’

WATCH ABOVE: California congressman Dana Rohrabacher denounces ​​British comedian and prankster Sacha Baron Cohen's TV guns prank as "sick fraud"

British comedian and prankster Sacha Baron Cohen is back on television with a new show, Who is America? that is already making headlines.

A Republican congressman filmed for the satirical television series who appeared to back a fictitious scheme to train toddlers to use guns said on Monday, July 17 that he was the victim of “a sick fraud” after the first episode of the show aired.

California congressman Dana Rohrabacher was one of two Republican politicians filmed for an episode of Who is America?, a series for cable’s Showtime in which the British prankster assumes personas to satirize U.S. political and cultural life in the era of President Donald Trump.

READ MORE: Sarah Palin livid after being tricked into interview with Sacha Baron Cohen

In the first episode, aired on Sunday, July 15, Baron Cohen posed as an Israeli anti-terror expert who asked two U.S. congressmen to support his fictional Israeli program “Kinderguardians” to teach kindergartners how to use guns.

Story continues below advertisement

Asked on Monday to comment, Rohrabacher said in a statement, “Cohen’s people apparently used footage from an interview I submitted to earlier this year for a bogus Israeli television company supposedly celebrating the country’s 70th anniversary. In that interview, which was not with Cohen, I spoke broadly of training young people at a responsible age in self-defense.

“At no time did I endorse training toddlers in handling guns. Nor was the idea even presented to me directly. If it had been, I would have rejected it,” he said.

Rohrabacher did not respond to a request for comment on whether he would take further action.

Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina and former Senator Trent Lott, who is now a lobbyist at a Washington law firm, were also filmed appearing to lend support to the scheme. Neither Wilson nor Lott replied to requests for comment.

READ MORE: Sacha Baron Cohen character says Sarah Palin is ‘bleeding fake news,’ demands apology

Showtime and Baron Cohen, who has made a comedy career out of pulling pranks on public figures, declined to comment on Rohrabacher’s statement.

The seven-episode show marked Baron Cohen’s first television project in a decade after he launched his comedy career as a white English rapper Ali G., whose interviewees included Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich. His 2006 faux documentary film Borat ridiculed Kazakhstan and Middle Americans.

Story continues below advertisement