Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been under intense scrutiny over his response to the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio earlier this month.
The criticism may be getting to Buttigieg, as Breitbart reported that the transportation secretary recently snapped at a reporter.
Buttigieg complained that he was on “personal time”
That incident occurred on Tuesday evening and involved Jennie Taer, who works as a journalist for Daily Caller News Foundation.
I asked Secretary Buttigieg about the crisis in East Palestine and I guess he didn’t like that so he took a pic of me. Im just doing my job, sir. @DailyCaller pic.twitter.com/HjKNgF25FJ
— Jennie Taer (@JennieSTaer) February 22, 2023
“What do you have to say to the folks in Ohio, East Palestine, who are suffering right now?” Taer asked Buttigieg, who was walking alongside his husband.
“I’d refer you to about a dozen interviews I’ve given today, and if you’d like to arrange a conversation, make sure to reach out to our press office,” Buttigieg responded, adding, “I’d like to have that conversation with you.”
Secretary to reporter: “Can I get a photo of you?”
When Taer again asked if Buttigieg had “a message” for East Palestine’s residents, he said, “I do and I shared that with the press many times today. I refer you to those comments.”
Taer once more asked if the secretary would offer a message, to which he replied, “No. I’m going to refer you to the comments I made to the press because right now I’m taking some personal time and I’m walking down the street.”
“I’ll share that when I’m ready and not talking on the street,” he concluded before asking if he could take a photo of Taer, something the reporter says that he did.
That didn’t go over well with some reporters, including Fox News host Harris Faulkner, who tweeted, Why did the Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg need a picture of a member of our FREE press? Is he trying to be funny… or is something else at play here? Targeting?”
Why did the Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg need a picture of a member of our FREE press? Is he trying to be funny… or is something else at play here? Targeting? Journalists are allowed to speak with public officials who are in public. #politereporter https://t.co/3fjYlEFkk3
— HARRISFAULKNER (@HARRISFAULKNER) February 22, 2023
Trump brings bottled water to East Palestine
Someone who is not shy about visiting East Palestine is former President Donald Trump, who showed up in the town on Wednesday.
Fox News reported that Trump distributed bottled water to local residents and also took first responders to McDonald’s.
“You are not forgotten. We stand with you. We pray for you. And we will stand with you and your fight to help ensure the accountability that you deserve,” Trump was quoted as saying.