A strange video of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been attracting a lot of attention lately because of his rude interaction with a reporter who was asking him questions about the crisis in East Palestine, Ohio.
Apparently, he was too busy taking “personal time” to answer very simple questions about the disaster that resulted from a train derailment in Ohio that released toxic chemicals into the surrounding air and water supply.
Since this incident, Buttigieg has been quick to avoid blame and slow to pay a visit to the struggling community.
Jennie Taer, a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation, approached Buttigieg outside in Washington, D.C., and asked if he had any statement for “the folks in Ohio, East Palestine, who are suffering right now.”
Refusing to give the journalist the time of day, Buttigieg brushed her off, saying, “Well, I’d refer you to about a dozen interviews I’ve given today, and if you’d like to arrange a conversation you should reach out to our press office.”
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“I’m not going to have that conversation with you just walking down the street here,” he added.
“You don’t have a message for them?” asked Taer, continuing to press Buttigieg for some type of response.
Continuing to act like a celebrity being put out by Taer’s simple question, Buttigieg again referred her to the interviews he did earlier in the day.
“Right now, I’m taking some personal time, and I’m walking down the street,” quipped the Secretary of Transportation.
Taer then asked Buttigieg if he was going to visit East Palestine, to which he responded that he would, but would not elaborate on when he planned to visit.
He then strangely asked the reporter if he could get a photo of her. Taer is heard saying “yeah” just before the video ends.
Taer posted the odd interaction on her Twitter account, saying, “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. I’m just doing my job, sir.”
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
Conservative producer and political commentator Robby Starbuck replied to Taer’s video, labeling Buttigieg’s behavior as “absolutely unacceptable.”
“Every journalist and news host should take Pete Buttigieg to task for this attempted intimidation of a journalist,” tweeted Starbuck. “Who holds him accountable and who ignores this will say a LOT about the state of the media.”
Other Twitter users pointed out how frequently Buttigieg, a high-ranking public official, takes “personal time.”
One Twitter user commented:
“When isn’t Buttigieg taking “personal time?”
Right after his 6 mo maternity leave, he went on a vacation to Portugal, now he’s hitting the media circuit to talk about the lack of ‘people of color’ at construction sites. What a clown.”
“…I’m taking some personal time..”
When isn’t Buttigieg taking “personal time?”
Right after his 6 mo maternity leave, he went on a vacation to Portugal, now he’s hitting the media circuit to talk about the lack of “people of color” at construction sites. What a clown.🤡
— Tenn Bear 🐻 (@akaBarni) February 22, 2023
On Tuesday, after ignoring the crisis for 18 days, Buttigieg finally announced that he would be visiting East Palestine to see the damage in person.