Saturday Night Live took on former President Donald Trump’s visit to the disaster in East Palestine, Ohio during its cold opening this week.
The fake Trump, as played by cast member James Austin Johnson, gave a press conference in which he made fun of Pete Buttigieg and eventually brought on Georgia grand jury foreman Emily Kohrs.
‘Hello, it’s wonderful to be here in East Palestine… not a great name,’ opened Johnson’s Trump, incorrectly pronouncing the town’s name to sound like the state of Palestine.
He then joked that current President Joe Biden was ‘on Spring break in Ukraine with his friend Zelensky in the t-shirt, very disrespectful.’
Johnson’s uncanny Trump then recalled a chance meeting when ‘a farmer came up to me, big fella and he said, ‘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.’
The impression tends to mimic how Trump will go off on tangents about celebrities sometimes. When he described the rivers in East Palestine as ‘colorful’ he began calling it ‘Fenty Beauty Water’ in a reference to Rihanna’s fashion line.
‘Rihanna, by the way, you know, she was pregnant doing Super Bowl, can you believe that? I said of course she is, she’s not moving at all, it was just arms, right? She was just doing arms the whole time.’
He then turned his attention to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who infamously visited East Palestine after Trump did on Thursday.
‘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.’
He then cracked that he’s begun calling the former mayor of South Bend ‘Pete Butt,’ adding that ‘there’s no way around it, that’s just the best one. Believe me, I’ve tried it every which way and it doesn’t get better than Pete Butt.’
After a joke about he made trains ‘less safe’ and that he could ‘Schitt’s Creek’ the entire town in reference to the sitcom.
He then invited Chloe Fineman as controversial Georgia grand jury foreman Emily Kohrs.
‘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 lady,’ Johnson’s Trump said.
‘She’s a head juror, can you believe that? They elected her. They’ll elect anyone, I started that,’ he added.
Fineman’s Kohrs would not reveal if Trump would be indicted but said ‘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 look like Haley Joel Osment and she’s my best friend.’
Later on in the show, Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost joked that Trump visited the crash site because ‘he usually likes to make himself look better by standing next to a trainwreck,’ before cutting to a photo of Rudy Giuliani.
Trump visited East Palestine, a small Ohio community of 4,700, upended by a toxic train derailment on Wednesday – 19 days after the crash, but still before President Joe Biden or Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
Republicans are reeling that Biden has not visited Ohio for himself, or at least deployed Buttigieg there to survey the damage and speak with local leaders about how the administration can best assist.
The former president greeted crowds furious at the lack of action from the White House, 19 days after the disaster in Ohio, and brought in thousands of bottles of his own water, cleaning supplies and canned food.
He then stopped at a local McDonald’s where he ordered Big Macs for first responders and members of his team, and handed out signed MAGA hats to the customers.
‘I know this menu better than you do. I probably know it better than anybody in here,’ he told the server and demanded they ‘knock it out fast’ so he could eat it on the plane.
Hundreds of people lined the streets waving MAGA flags and chanting ‘no more Joe’ to greet Trump after he landed in the community on his renovated Trump Force One jet.
In a speech in the local fire department he praised the response from law enforcement and the ‘strength and courage’ of the residents, and said: ‘You are not forgotten’.
He promised to return if the community didn’t get help from the White House and when a reporter asked what message he had for Biden, Trump said: ‘Get over here’.
His visit coincided with Norfolk Southern releasing a statement saying they would take ‘full responsibility’ for the derailment and Pete Buttigieg confirming he’ll visit the site on Thursday.
But residents of East Palestine feel that a visit at this point from Biden or Buttigieg would be largely useless.
‘It’s a little too late,’ East Palestine resident William Hugar, 56, told DailyMail.com while eating breakfast at a local diner when asked if Biden should visit.
‘Like he can come, but for what?’ he questioned.
‘We stand with you,’ Trump told the crowd at the East Palestine Fire Department, ‘we pray for you, and we’ll stay with you in your fight to help answer and [get] accountability that you deserve.’
‘Biden and FEMA said they would not send federal aid to [the town] under any circumstances,’ Trump claimed. ‘We opened up the dam, and we got them to move,’ he said referring to his visit the Biden administration has claimed is a photo op.
The crowds lined the streets and some chanted ‘no more Joe’ as they awaited the arrival of the former president.
He handed out supplies including water to the residents during the visit alongside Republican Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio, who has led the backlash to the White House’s lack of response to the disaster in the town of 4,700.
‘We’re bringing thousands of bottles of water – Trump Water, actually. Most of it. Some of it we had to go to a much lesser quality water, you want to get those Trump bottles,’ he said in his speech.
Trump also met East Palestine Mayor Trent Conway, who said earlier this week that Biden’s secret trip to Ukraine was a ‘slap in the face’ to his constituents.
If Trump’s visit doesn’t get Biden to come to Ohio, he said he would come back to try and force the issues.
‘We’re going to find time to come back, if necessary,’ the 2024 candidate and former president said. ‘If they don’t come back and give you the treatment that you need, we will be back.’
‘The Biden administration should have ensured that every family has the option of moving … until this thing is straightened out,’ Trump added.
Republicans are furious that Biden has not visited Ohio, or at least deployed Pete Buttigieg to survey the damage and speak with local leaders about how the administration can help.