'SNL' Returns With Focus on Trump's Response to Puerto Rico

The season 43 premiere of "Saturday Night Live" picked up right where the show left off — with Alec Baldwin's Emmy-winning performance as President Donald Trump.

"It's all part of the plan. The more chaos I cause, the less people can focus," Baldwin jokes as Trump. "Let's keep the chaos coming."

Baldwin's Trump, wearing golf attire, tells press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders (Aidy Bryant) he "sacrificed" the back nine at the golf course to return to the Oval Office. He receives a phone call from San Juan Mayor Carmen Cruz, who asks him for more aid after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico. 

"Ma'am, I don’t know if you know this, but you’re on an island in the water, the ocean water. Big ocean, with fishies and bubbles and turtles that bite," Trump said, parodying comments the real Trump made on Friday. "We want to help you, but we have to take care of America first."

"You do know we're a U.S. territory, don't you?" Cruz countered. Trump tried to reassure her he knew that.

The cold open comes on the same day the real President Trump attacked Cruz in a series of tweets after she said the Trump administration is "killing us with the inefficiency" of slow federal aid to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.

After Baldwin's Trump hangs up, he praised Sanders for being a "straight shooter" and said it was why she "outlasted Sean Spicer, Scaramucci, Bannon, Priebus, Gorka, Flynn, Yates, and Tom Price."

"I'm no nonsense but I'm all nonsense," Bryant's Sanders said.

When Trump tells her she handled the controversy surrounding NFL athletes protesting during the national anthem well, she said she shouldn't have called it a "black and white issue" but a "black versus white issue."

Trump replies that he loves football and thinks he could've played.

"People say I remind them of an NFL player because I’m combative, I like to win, and I might have a degenerative brain disease," he said.

Kate McKinnon then enters as Attorney General Jeff Sessions and has an awkward exchange with Trump about their relationship, which ends with Sessions begging Trump not to negatively tweet about him.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, played by Alex Moffatt, then interrupts to meet with Trump for a "secret deal," mirroring the surprise agreement made by the real pair weeks ago regarding DACA.

Colin Jost and Michael Che kicked off "Weekend Update" with President Trump's tweets about Puerto Rico and Mayor Cruz.

"Trump says the people of Puerto Rico 'want everything to be done for them,'" Jost said. "Then he told his caddy to repair his divot and drive him to the next hole."

Jost said Trump's handling of Maria is comparable to George W. Bush dealing with Hurricane Katrina. He also compared Trump unfavorably to rapper Pitbull, who recently lent his private plane to the relief effort

"If only Donald Trump knew someone with a private jet," Jost quipped, alluding to the recent dismissal of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who resigned after reports emerged about his private plane use.

"In one month you have mishandled Puerto Rico, DACA, the NFL," Che said. "It’s like when anybody darker than your golf pants has a problem you’re thinking, 'How can I make this worse?'"

"Weekend Update" also covered the recent memo sent out by NBA commissioner Adam Silver reminding players they must stand for the national anthem, amid controversy over the NFL's recent display of protests.

Che estimates the NBA is "130 to 140 percent black" and asks what Silver would do if they all decide to kneel.

"It's hard to ask black people to respect the flag when we know that this country cares more about it than us," he said.

Musical guest Jay-Z made a political statement by wearing a black, number seven football jersey, the back reading "Colin K" on the back for Colin Kaepernick, the NFL player who was the first to not stand during the national anthem last year.

Jay-Z performed "Bam" with Damian Marley and "4:44" from his new album of the same name.

Ryan Gosling was this week's host and in his opening monologue, which Emma Stone joined, makes fun of himself as the guy "who saved jazz," riffing off his role in "La La Land."


"SNL" kicked off its new season on Saturday boosted by a big night at the Emmy Awards earlier this month. Last season was the show's most-watched in 24 years, according to NBC, in a season that saw an unpredictable political climate.