Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Sunday hit back against critics who argue that he only visited the site of a toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, because former President Trump had visited days beforehand.
“That’s bullshit,” Buttigieg said of the accusation in an interview with CNN. “We were already going to go.”
The Transportation secretary has taken heat over the Biden administration’s response to the East Palestine incident, where 38 cars of a train carrying the toxic carcinogen vinyl chloride were derailed on Feb. 3, spilling the chemical into nearby land and water and sparking environmental and health concerns.
Buttigieg visited the area at the end of February, days after Trump visited and bashed the administration’s response. Many on the right criticized Buttigieg’s East Palestine trip as coming too long after the derailment.
Buttigieg conceded to CNN that he should’ve visited the Ohio site sooner and that he didn’t anticipate the political implications of the incident.
But he hit back against his critics and argued that much of the responsibility that is ascribed to him is out of his hands.
“It’s really rich to see some of these folks — the former president, these Fox hosts — who are literally lifelong card-carrying members of the East Coast elite, whose top economic policy priority has always been tax cuts for the wealthy, and who wouldn’t know their way around a T.J. Maxx if their life depended on it, to be presenting themselves as if they genuinely care about the forgotten middle of the country,” Buttigieg told CNN.
“You think Tucker Carlson knows the difference between a T.J. Maxx and a Kohl’s?”
Source: The Hill
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