Bizarre moment Pete Buttigieg asks to take reporter’s PHOTO when they asked about his response to the Ohio train disaster – as he finally confirms he will visit site TOMORROW
- A reporter interviewed Buttigieg while he was walking with husband in DC
- He referred her to his press office, then asked for her photo at end of encounter
- ‘Im just doing my job, sir,’ reporter wrote when she tweeted the video
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg confirmed during a walking street interview that he would visit the Ohio train disaster site – then asked if he could snap a photo of the reporter who questioned him about it.
The odd encounter happened before it was reported Buttigieg will visit East Palestine on Thursday, 20 days after the initial disaster.
Reporter Jennie Taer asked Buttigieg about the disaster and the administration’s response after identifying herself as working for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Buttigieg smiles when the reporter first asks he is doing. Then, while Buttigieg and husband Chasten walk briskly at nighttime, the reporter asked him, ‘What do you have to say to the folks in Ohio, East Palestine, who are suffering right now?’
‘Well 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 replied. Earlier Tuesday he confirmed that he would be visiting the town, amid growing pressure 18 days after a Norfolk Southern train derailed amid a massive chemical explosion.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg asked to take a reporter’s photo after a brief interview while walking with husband Chasten
He indicated he wasn’t going to ‘have that conversation with you just walking down the street here.’
‘You don’t have a message for them?’ the reporter asked, as the two walked and talked in the Eastern Market neighborhood near the Capitol.
‘I do and I’ve shared it with the press many times today and I refer you to those comments,’ Buttigieg responded.
When the reporter pressed again, he declined, saying: ‘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.’
She asked whether he would visit East Palestine, something he had revealed on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ earlier Tuesday.
After pausing, Buttigieg allowed, ‘Yup I’m going,’ but declined to give a time-frame.
Then Buttigieg, who often represents the administration in combative interviews on Fox News and with other outlets, asked the reporter: ‘Can I get a photo of you?’
The reporter agreed. She later posted video of the encounter on Twitter.
‘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,’ she wrote.
DailyMail.com has sought comment from the Transportation Department on the encounter.
Buttigieg has called for higher maximum fines for railroad safety breaches but has yet to pay a visit to the small town still reeling from the aftermath of toxic chemicals infiltrating the air, ground and water.
He wrote a letter on Sunday to the president and CEO of Norfolk Southern, which owns and operates the train that derailed carrying the hazardous material.
‘Norfolk Southern must live up to its commitments to the people of East Palestine,’ Buttigieg wrote in a Monday Instagram post along with images of the letter.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Tuesday morning that he will finally visit the site of the train derailment that released hazardous material into East Palestine, Ohio earlier this month
The intense crash spewed toxic chemicals into the air, ground and water and has led nearby residents to complain of headaches and other symptoms. East Palestine was evacuated two days after the derailment
Biden has not, however, visited East Palestine, Ohio in the aftermath of a massive train derailment that released toxic chemicals into the community on February 3