Former President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign trail found its way to East Palestine, Ohio this week; the site of an ecological disaster caused by the hasty cleanup of a train derailment on February 3rd.
And, in true Trump fashion, the trip was full of fireworks, including a rather blunt assessment of how Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is handling the situation.
“We’re like a third-world nation, and this is an example of it, the breakdown. Our whole country is breaking down,” Trump said while hanging out with residents of East Palestine in a McDonald’s on Wednesday.
The former president also stated that Buttigieg, who has yet to even step foot in East Palestine, “should have been here a long time ago.”
After being asked to respond to Buttigieg blaming him for the train derailment by falsely claiming a proposed rule on ECP brakes that was withdrawn in 2018 had something to do with the disaster in East Palestine, Trump said, “It had nothing to do with it.”
And it wasn’t just the rail lines that Trump accused Buttigieg of neglecting:
The 45th president added that Buttigieg really needs to “look at the airports, because I have people that are taking planes, and they’re delayed. They’re waiting in an airport for three days. It’s crazy what’s happening.”
Secretary Buttigieg will finally be arriving in East Palestine on Thursday, nearly three weeks after the incident and a day after the former President’s visit.
Video of Trump’s visit to the restaurant were soon being shared all over social media.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: “They’re systematically destroying our country and it’s a shame— Buttigieg should’ve been here.”pic.twitter.com/dGYSIsTCL0
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) February 22, 2023
Donald Trump to McDonald’s employees: “I know this menu better than you do. I probably know it better than anyone in here.” 😂
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) February 22, 2023
Trump stops at a local McDonald’s in East Palestine, Ohio. pic.twitter.com/T6c4tdS2Y8
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) February 22, 2023
Trump is currently the presumptive nominee for the GOP in 2024, as he currently enjoys an otherwise empty primary field.