EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — Former President Donald Trump told residents of East Palestine on Wednesday that “We’re like a third-world nation” with Pete Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary.
“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to respond to Buttigieg blaming him for the train derailment by falsely claiming a proposed rule on ECP brakes that was withdrawn in 2018 had something to do with the disaster in East Palestine, Trump said, “It had nothing to do with it.”
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.”
Buttigieg is now planning to head to East Palestine on Thursday, one day after Trump’s visit to the affected area. Last week, Buttigieg appeared to try to minimize the train disaster in East Palestine by noting that there are 1,000 train derailments each year.
“While this horrible situation has gotten a particularly high amount of attention, there are roughly 1,000 cases a year of a train derailing,” the Transportation Secretary said.
In addition to Buttigieg, President Joe Biden also has yet to visit East Palestine. Instead, Biden was seen visiting Ukraine earlier this week.
While in East Palestine on Wednesday, Trump told Breitbart News that Biden should have already visited the Ohio town, but “chose to go a different route,” referring to Biden’s recent trip to Kyiv, Ukraine.