Comedian and social commentator Rosie O’Donnell faced the camera at close range and spoke about how the U. S. government’s response to the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, was insufficient, maddening, and more of the same. O’Donnell said flat out that she said she didn’t trust the EPA.
O’Donnell said that the “everything’s okay” statement issued by the EPA was “infuriating.” She added: “I don’t trust the EPA. I don’t trust them. After 9/11, I don’t know how anyone could.”
President Trump is going to East Palestine b/c those people aren’t being helped and now even Rosie O’Donnell agrees there is a major coverup here— DC_Draino (@DC_Draino) February 19, 2023
Think of how bad Biden and Buttigieg are doing when you’ve got Trump and Rosie agreeing on something
In the voluminous comments, many people pointed out that O’Donnell’s criticisms — especially her blanket distrust of a major government agency and her 9/11 reference — echoed those of former President Donald Trump and his MAGA adherents. As one share of the video commented, things are bad when “you’ve got Trump and Rosie agreeing on something.” (Background: Trump and O’Donnell have a long, rancorous history of disagreeing.)
Others pointed out that O’Donnell sounded a lot like an “America First” backer, which describes the political movement that has become the essential GOP platform, highly influenced by MAGA.
O’Donnell read the comments on her post and didn’t seem to appreciate being paired with Trump. “So I’ve been reading the comments on my toxic train derailment post I made and people are like ‘oh you finally woke up’,” O’Donnell said in a new video to respond.
But the critics are wrong, she said, about her finally getting it. “This is exactly what I feel at all national tragedies – Columbine, Katrina… This is what I feel, compassion…disappointment in a government that doesn’t take good enough care of its people.”
O’Donnell also said she laments, swinging back to the left, the way “corporate entities in this country seem to have impunity.”
So is she moving to the right to join Trump and the America First movement? O’Donnell walked back her “don’t trust them” mode a little. She didn’t mention it the second time around. She said pointedly, “This is not a Democratic or Republican issue…we gotta stop with the right and left, we gotta come together. Soon. Soon.”
There O’Donnell doesn’t sound anything like Trump or his MAGA backers. “Coming together” is not part of the rhetoric of the far right. But broad aspersions cast on huge government agencies like the EPA — “I don’t trust them” — has drain-the-swamp echoes that aren’t easily walked back. On that kind of accusation, O’Donnell, Trump and MAGA are talking the same language.