During an appearance on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut,” Mayor Pete Buttigieg accused former President Donald Trump of being responsible for the East Palestine train catastrophe, saying that it’s “ironic” Trump visited the town because it was his deregulation efforts that caused the disaster.
His comments occurred during an interview on MSNBC’s “TheReidOut.” Host Joy Reid prodded him into attacking Trump for the situation, asking “You know, the sort of theatrics of Donald Trump being in Palestine were odd, but this is a community that voted overwhelmingly for him. The county that Palestine is in voted 71/29 for Donald Trump. I want you to reflect on the irony. In 2016, it was 68/26. This is a Trump county. What do you make of the fact he went there despite the fact the regulations he rolled back were partly responsible for this tragedy?”
Mayor Pete quickly agreed, saying, “It was definitely an ironic thing to do. You take down regulations, you water down regulations, you weaken the power of the administration to deal with freight railroad companies, and then you show up wanting to be a great friend of the people who have been impacted by a rail disaster.”
Buttigieg went on to accuse Trump of making a spectacle out of the train wreck and criticized him for never visiting a derailment site when one occurred during his watch or sending his Transportation Secretary to go.
Here’s what Buttigieg said: “You know, this is somebody who, as far as I know, never went to a derailment site when one of those happens on his watch. And there were thousands — even ones with fatalities. Never even sent his Transportation Secretary to go. Now that it’s campaign season, I guess things are different. We were there to work. We were there to get things done.”
He tweeted identical sentiments over a week ago, blaming Trump for the calamity and pledging to use the resources at his disposal to keep people safe.
Have a look at this:
BUTTIGIEG: “It’s ironic — Trump watered down regulations, and he never went to a derailment site when he was in office… and there were THOUSANDS.” #EastPalestineOhio #NorfolkSouthernDerailment pic.twitter.com/qi6DdjT0bN— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) February 24, 2023
Reid’s question to Mayor Pete came after she accused Trump of causing the disaster, saying that he “denied his administration had anything to do with regulatory changes that contributed to the disaster.” She then said “But it was him. It was Donald Trump and his administration who gave the rail industry and Norfolk southern exactly what they wanted, fewer and looser rules around rail safety. Trump conveniently forgot to tell his most loyal supporters how Norfolk southern lobbied heavily for laxer safety rules and how receptive the Trump administration was to their arguments on rolling back the rules.”
This wasn’t the first time that Buttigieg blamed Trump for the train wreck. He did so as well over a week ago, tweeting:
“In the wake of the East Palestine derailment and its impact on hundreds of residents, we’re seeing lots of newfound or renewed (and welcome) interest in our work on rail safety, so I wanted to share more about what we’ve been doing in this area.”
“We’re constrained by law on some areas of rail regulation (like the braking rule withdrawn by the Trump administration in 2018 because of a law passed by Congress in 2015), but we are using the powers we do have to keep people safe.”
“And of course, I’m always ready to work with Congress on furthering (or in some cases, restoring) our capacity to address rail safety issues.“
Read That Here:
We’re constrained by law on some areas of rail regulation (like the braking rule withdrawn by the Trump administration in 2018 because of a law passed by Congress in 2015), but we are using the powers we do have to keep people safe. https://t.co/xRyyYpGOwd— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) February 14, 2023