NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” took aim at former President Donald Trump’s bizarre trip to the site of the devastating train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio during this week’s cold open.
James Austin Johnson played Trump, mimicking his rambling speeches while holding a press conference to check in on the people of East Palestine after they were “abandoned by Biden” who is off “on spring break in Ukraine with his friend Zelensky in the T-shirt. Very disrespectful.”
Johnson’s Trump set off the briefing by incorrectly pronouncing the town of East Palestine, instead pronouncing it like the state of Palestine.
“Hello, it’s wonderful to be here in East Palestine… not a great name,” he quipped, later adding, “But I’m here and I brought hats. Cameras and hats. Because it’s terrible what’s happening here.”
Johnson’s Trump then recalled meeting a farmer who told him, “Sir we have nothing to eat because our dirt is poison.”
“And I said, ‘Well what are you doing eating the dirt? Don’t eat the dirt, folks! You should be eating the cold McDonald’s I bought you,” he said, referencing how the former president bought a “nice array” of McDonald’s for the town’s first responders during his visit.
The comedian then mimicked how Trump will go on long-winded tangents, making mention of both East Palestine’s “colorful” river and Rihanna’s Super Bowl performance.
He then focused on Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who arrived in East Palestine a day after Trump after critics claimed he waited too long to visit.
“This was his responsibility, unfortunately, he was too busy being a nerd and being gay to have dealt with the very much more important issue of should trains have big poison,” Johnson said.
He then joked that he has started calling the former South Bend mayor “Pete Butt,” noting “there’s no way around it, that’s just the best one. Believe me, I’ve tried it every which way and it really doesn’t get better than Pete Butt.”
Johnson’s Trump then noted that people have blamed him for allowing the train to be carrying hazardous materials in the first place.
“People are saying I made the trains less safe. Not true. Okay, not true,” he said. “I did a lot for trains. I made them bigger, faster, less safe perhaps.”
“I’m here paying my respects because your train exploded and now your birds and fish are all dead. That’s gotta not be so great.”
He then invited Chloe Fineman, who was playing Georgia grand jury foreman Emily Kohrs, to join the press conference.
“She’s an odd duck but we like her. She’s either seven or 40, we can’t tell. And she’s got a very big secret for such a kooky little lady,” Johnson’s Trump said.
Fireman’s Kohrs would not say whether Trump would be indicted, but told him, “we’ve been saying your name a lot.”
“Can you believe that? They almost had me and then this little horse girl comes in and saves the day,” he cracked. “She looks like Haley Joel Osment and she’s my best friend.”