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Pete Buttigieg has a strange question for the reporter who confronts him directly about the disaster in East Palestine

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday showed his displeasure with a reporter who confronted him directly about the East Palestine train derailment.

“What do you have to say to the people of Ohio, East Palestine, who are suffering right now?” asked Jennie Taer, reporter for the Dally Caller News Foundation.

Buttigieg dodged the question and tried to fire the reporter, but Taer was undeterred.

“Well, I would refer you to a dozen interviews I’ve done today, and if you want to arrange a conversation, you should contact our press office,” he said. “I’m not going to have this conversation with you just walking down the street.”

“Don’t you have a message for them?” Taer followed.

Buttigieg claimed he does have a message, but told Taer he would have to speak to the Department of Transportation’s press shop for that message. When he asked Buttigieg if he would share it directly, he declined.

“I’m taking some personal time right now and walking down the street,” he replied.

What happened next was extremely strange. Taer asked Buttigieg if he planned to visit East Palestine. She said yes and then took out her cell phone and asked Taer if she could take a picture of him, not with her. Taer accepted the photo.

“I asked Secretary Buttigieg about the crisis in East Palestine and I guess he didn’t like that so he took a picture of me. I’m just doing my job sir. @DailyCalleru201d

— Jennie Taer (@JennieTaer) 1677025793

Buttigieg became the target of bipartisan criticism for what many believed was a slow public response to the train derailment, which happened nearly three weeks ago and resulted in the burning of highly toxic and carcinogenic chemicals.

The secretary admitted on Tuesday that he “could have spoken earlier” and offered an excuse for not doing so.

“I was focused on just making sure our people on the ground were ready, but I could have spoken up earlier about how strongly I felt about this incident, and that’s a lesson learned for me,” he told CBS News.

Buttigieg will travel to East Palestine on Thursday, a day after former President Donald Trump.

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