Over the weekend, Donald Trump posted multiple tweets about the devastation in Puerto Rico caused by Hurricane Maria, and Last Week Tonight host John Oliver called out the president over those remarks Sunday night.
In the series of tweets, Trump insulted Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, by saying she had “poor leadership ability.” This was in response to a TV appearance where she begged for more aid.
Oliver was bewildered, saying, “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,” Oliver joked. “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.’”
When asked about the aid efforts in Puerto Rico on Friday, Trump tried to spin the “results” the federal hurricane relief has had. “The loss of life, it’s always tragic,” Trump said. “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 took the opportunity to slam the president for trying to pat himself on the back when his response has been so underwhelming.
“How are you even trying to take a victory lap right now?” Oliver asks. “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!”
The aftermath of Hurricane Maria left half of the 3.4 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico without clean drinking water and only five percent of the population with electricity.