Late-Night Hosts Slam Trump for Puerto Rico Death Toll Tweet

Trevor Noah
Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Time Inc.

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah attends Time Inc. NewFront 2017 at Hammerstein Ballroom on May 4, 2017 in New York City.

Late-night hosts wasted no time in addressing President Donald Trump's false tweet disputing Puerto Rico's official Hurricane Maria death toll on their shows Thursday.   

Earlier in the day, Trump claimed "3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico" and suggested that the death count had been inflated by Democrats "in order to make me look bad."   

Trump was seemingly referring to an independent study conducted by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, which found that many more people had perished in the aftermath of the hurricane than initially tabulated. That study prompted Puerto Rico's governor to raise the death count from 64 to 2,795.   


Trump's tweet met wide resistance from pundits on Twitter, and even some politicians in his own party, including Florida governor Rick Scott and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis.   

On The Daily Show, Trevor Noah made light of the hurricane tweets, joking, "I gotta say, man, after all the beef that Trump has had, I feel like it was only a matter of time before he started a fight with dead people."    

Noah then played the reactions of politicians across the political spectrum, especially focusing on a clip of Sen. Orrin Hatch, who, after hearing about Trump's tweets from a reporter, asked, "Wait, say what?"

"You realize the last time we saw Orrin Hatch that confused he was taking off an invisible pair of sunglasses. You realize that, that's how bad the story is," Noah said, referring to a viral clip from earlier in the year.

"So now, America doesn't have to just deal with Hurricane Florence, it has to deal with Shitstorm Donald," Noah added. Roy Wood, Jr. then played a "tweeteorolgist" standing in front of a green-screen map of the U.S. and projecting future storms.

The Late Show's Stephen Colbert opened his monologue, "President Trump has been laser-focused on hurricane response this week, just not this one."

He then proceeded to add, "I just want to state, not only is this a sickening tweet, it is in no way true." After mentioning GWU's study, Colbert said, "It had been pushed out of the front pages because of all the other bad news about Donald Trump. Then he brought it up again. It's kind of like he was on trial for littering and saying on the stand, 'I only threw that cup out of the window because I was distracted by that homeless man I ran over. Pretty sure he died of old age.'"

Over on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Meyers called the president “deranged” for his tweets. “That’s the official death toll, you lunatic,” he said. “Now we know why he’s so orange — his brain is just melted pumpkin guts.”

Meyers then took things one step further, saying, “We don’t need an anonymous op-ed to tell us that the president is a narcissist who peddles one conspiracy theory after another.” The late-night host cited several examples, including the conspiracy that former President Barack Obama was not born in America, that 3 million people voted illegally in the last election and that Muslims “celebrated on 9/11.” And, referring to viral images of Trump looking directly into the sun during last year’s solar eclipse, Meyers joked, “And he thinks that you get superpowers by looking directly into the sun.” 

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