Trump’s America never stops being a weird and confusing place, but it got weirder and more confusing on Thursday when Trump tweeted what amounts to a conspiracy theory involving the death toll in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria last year.
So while Hurricane Florence is presently hitting North and South Carolina, Trump was still talking about last year’s big storm. And in his monologue on “The Late Show” Thursday night, Stephen Colbert was pretty mad about it.
“President Trump has been laser focused on hurricane response this week. Just not this one. He’s talking about the one a year ago, because he’s been tweeting a lot about what a great job he did responding to Hurricane Maria, that decimated Puerto Rico last year, resulting in the death of almost 3,000 American citizens,” Colbert said. “It’s really hard to imagine anything more horrible than that. Other than this tweet.”
Here are the Trump tweets in question.
As Colbert read the tweets out loud in his Trump voice, the crowd booed loudly.
“Yes, you’re my favorite bunch of lying, ungrateful fake dead people. I like Puerto Ricans who don’t die,” Colbert said, still in the Trump voice and referencing Trump’s “I like people who weren’t captured” crack about John McCain from 2015.
“I just wanna state that not only is this a sickening tweet, it is in no way true,” Colbert continued before detailing where that death toll number came from. “At the government’s request, researchers at George Washington University’s Milken Institute of Public Health did a study and estimated that 2,975 people died as a result of the disaster and its effects, which unfolded over months.
“And 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 kinda like he was on trial for littering and he said on the stand, ‘I only threw that cup out of my window because I was distracted by the homeless man I ran over. Pretty sure he died of old age.’ ”
You can watch this portion of Colbert’s monologue from Thursday’s episode of “The Late Show” in the video embedded at the top of this post.