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SNL: Alec Baldwin's Trump shrugs off Puerto Rico, calls San Juan’s mayor a "nasty woman"

The season 43 premiere’s cold open also touched on Trump’s war with the NFL.

Aja Romano writes about pop culture, media, and ethics. Before joining Vox in 2016, they were a staff reporter at the Daily Dot. A 2019 fellow of the National Critics Institute, they’re considered an authority on fandom, the internet, and the culture wars.

Fresh off its recent round of Emmy wins, Saturday Night Live returned for its much-anticipated 43rd season this weekend with all eyes on the expected return of Alec Baldwin and his Emmy-winning performance as President Donald Trump.

The cold open brought back Baldwin’s Trump in his typical blowhard mode, to arrogantly dismiss Melissa Villaseñor as San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz as she attempted to ask for much-needed aid for Puerto Rico.

“I know things are, as the locals say, Despacito,” he joked, referring to Puerto Rican native Luis Fonsi’s record-smashing pop song. (“Despacito” means “slowly” in Spanish.)

As it frequently did last year, SNL lifted some of its jokes directly from the president’s mouth, including his reference to Puerto Rico being surrounded by “ocean water.”

“We want to help you, but we have to take care of America first,” Baldwin’s Trump insisted.

“You do know we’re a US territory, don’t you?” Villasenor’s Cruz inquired of a blankfaced Trump, who promptly hung up and declared she was a nasty woman.

Meanwhile, Aidy Bryant appeared as Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who Trump praised for outlasting his other press secretaries and several other administration officials — the latest being Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who’d only resigned the day before. Of course, Baldwin’s Trump praised himself by comparing himself to the NFL players he’s been frequently berating of late.

Kate McKinnon also dropped by, trotting out her Jeff Sessions impression to spoof the growing tensions between the attorney general and the president as Trump berated him for not being loyal enough.

“Please, sir, don’t tweet on me,” McKinnon’s Sessions begged, ending up propped on Trump’s lap like a child or a deranged ventriloquist dummy.

“I might look adorable, but I’m frightening,” Sessions said, baring a row of oversize teeth.

All in all, though the sketch wasn’t as pointed as some of SNL’s previous jabs at the Trump administration, it covered an admirable amount of ground in a short time as it settled back in after taking the summer off.