John Oliver Slams Trump’s ‘Horribly Racist’ Puerto Rico Response
The ‘Last Week Tonight’ host could not believe that the president highlighted ‘Puerto Rican laziness’ as the primary obstacle to hurricane relief.
On Saturday, President Trump spent time hate-tweeting the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico—in between holes of golf at his Bedminster, New Jersey, club. And on Sunday, he took in the Presidents Cup golf tournament in Jersey City, and strangely chose to dedicate the event’s trophy to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico.
While the president spent his weekend indulging in a decidedly white-collar sport, 3.4 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico are struggling to cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, where half the island nation remains without drinking water and only five percent have electricity.
“The president’s response has been widely criticized all week, and it still doesn’t seem entirely clear that he understands the gravity of the situation,” John Oliver announced on Sunday’s edition of Last Week Tonight.
The HBO host then threw to a clip of Trump outside the White House on Friday where, before boarding a private jet en route to his Jersey golf club (at taxpayers’ expense, of course), the president remarked, “The loss of life, it’s always tragic, but it’s been incredible… the results that we’ve had, with respect to loss of life. People can’t believe how successful that has been, relatively speaking.”
Oliver was, understandably, beside himself: “How are you even trying to take a victory lap right now? The only way he could have saved that statement is if he added, ‘And don’t forget, I just kind of ramble! I know nothing. I talk because silence sounds weird. Try and think of me as a parrot who’s memorized some human sounds: yabba-dabba doo, Jumanji, bye-bye!”
Trump’s “rosy assessment” of the terribly dire situation in Puerto Rico has been disputed by numerous reporters, aid workers, and officials on the ground—including San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who begged President Trump to “make sure somebody is in charge that is up to the task of saving lives.” Trump, as is his wont, responded by lashing out at Mayor Cruz on Twitter, and alleging some sort of Democratic conspiracy:
Retired Lt. General Russel Honoré, who was in charge of the U.S. military response to Hurricane Katrina, was deeply critical of Trump’s Twitter rant, telling CNN: “The mayor’s living on a cot, and I hope the president has a good day at golf.”
Oliver, meanwhile, couldn’t believe the nerve of President Trump. “Really? Really?! The primary obstacle to hurricane relief has been Puerto Rican laziness? You have got to hand it to Trump: anybody can say horribly racist things about Hispanic people on a golden escalator, but it takes real balls to do it while their fellow citizens are dying,” cracked Oliver. “Trump is basically saying, ‘When hurricanes hit our people, they’re not hitting our best. They’re killing poors, they’re killing lazies, and some, I assume, have said nice things about me.’”