Bill Maher: Maybe Trump would focus on Puerto Rico if they took a knee
President Donald Trump now says he’s finally traveling to Puerto Rico on Tuesday, at which point it’ll be nearly two weeks since Hurricane Maria devastated the island. On HBO’s Real Time Friday night, host Bill Maher pondered what would make Trump pay more attention to relief efforts instead of tweeting attacks against the NFL. “I’ve got an idea,” he said in his opening monologue, “let’s tell Trump that there are a lot of black people kneeling in Puerto Rico. Maybe he’ll get focused on that.”
Maher began the episode by taking a knee for all the football players kneeling in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and in response to Trump’s controversial remarks about the NFL.
“Donald Trump is now officially the drunk at the end of the bar bitching about football,” Maher said of the president. “And this is the world that we live in now: The stupidest a—hole alive says something ignorant every three days and we have to debate it. ‘Uh, this just in, the president has tweeted that dogs are gay and Chinese people spit in the laundry. Discuss, America!’”
Trump has been criticized for his lax efforts in aiding the storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, especially as he took the time to attack the #TakeAKnee protest campaign. “He’s very sensitive about this,” Maher remarked. “You know, they’re saying the relief efforts there are a disaster, which is very unfair. He’s tweeting as hard as he can.”
The comedian predicted Trump will focus on Puerto Rico “as soon as he finds out that they speak Spanish and can come here anytime they like,” or “as soon as someone from his cabinet frees up a plane.”
“Trump says of course he cares about Puerto Rico ‘cause he’s from New York. That’s what he says,” Maher added. “‘Know them? I’ve evicted them.'”
San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz begged Trump “to take charge and save lives” in Puerto Rico during a press conference on Friday. “This is what we got last night,” she said, “four pallets of water, three pallets of meals, and 12 pallets of infant food — which I gave them to the people of Comerio, where people are drinking off a creek. So, I am done being polite. I am done being politically correct. I am mad as hell.”
After Maher’s segment, Trump attacked Cruz on social media Saturday morning. The president claimed she has “poor leadership ability” and the people of Puerto Rico “want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.” Piercing through the uproar from celebrities in response, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted to Trump, “You’re going straight to hell.”
Army Lt. Gen. Jeff Buchanan, who was put in charge of relief efforts, said the workers, soldiers, and supplies brought to Puerto Rico are still “not enough” and they’re bringing in more.