Exclusive — Behind the Scenes With Trump in East Palestine: ‘You are Not Forgotten’

Alana Mastrangelo / Breitbart News

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio — Former President Donald Trump delivered a positive and hopeful message to residents of the small Ohio town grappling with the aftermath of a train derailment that spilled toxic chemicals into the environment. “You are not forgotten,” he told the East Palestine community on Wednesday.

Breitbart News accompanied Trump on his trip to East Palestine, where the 45th president delivered truckloads of pallets of bottled water to the town’s residents, who are worried about the water quality in the area as a result of the recent train disaster.

It was a cold, rainy Wednesday afternoon in Northeast Ohio, but that didn’t stop President Trump from visiting East Palestine.

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Alana Mastrangelo / Breitbart News

Nor did the weather stop East Palestine residents from coming out to greet him.

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Alana Mastrangelo / Breitbart News

East Palestine City Park reverberated with chants of “Trump 24!” and “We love Trump!” while the former president visited a creek, where he spoke with Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH), Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), and East Palestine mayor Trent R. Conaway.

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Alana Mastrangelo / Breitbart News


President Trump also took time to greet a crowd of supporters, who could be heard exclaiming, “I love you!” and “Thank you for coming, Mr. Trump!”

“Thank you for not forgetting about us,” another East Palestine resident proclaimed.

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From there, President Trump headed to the East Palestine Fire Department, where he delivered an uplifting message to the community.

“We’re here today in East Palestine to show our love and support for our fellow Americans in this hour of need,” Trump said at the fire station.

“To the people of East Palestine and to the nearby communities in Ohio and Pennsylvania, we have heard you loud and clear. You are not forgotten,” the former president continued. “You are not forgotten.”

“We stand with you. We pray for you. And we will stay with you in your fight to help answer and get the accountability that you deserve,” Trump added.

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Alana Mastrangelo / Breitbart News

Trump also noted that it was “very strange” for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) not to offer East Palestine assistance at first.

“When I announced that I was coming, they changed their tune. It was an amazing phenomenon,” Trump said. “The mayor and I were discussing that, it was quite amazing what happened — that was a quick, rapid change.”

Last week, after it was revealed that Trump planned to visit East Palestine, FEMA decided to deploy federal services to the town — despite previously telling Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) that the train derailment incident was ineligible for FEMA assistance.

At the fire station, Sen. Vance also delivered remarks, in which he stated that President Trump’s visit to the Ohio town ensures that America will not forget about the people of East Palestine.

“We as a community would like to thank President Trump for coming up here and shedding some light on the situation we are currently in,” East Palestine Mayor Trent R. Conaway said.

“I believe this community is not only going to recover, but they’re going to be stronger than they were when they started,” Rep. Johnson said. “Thank you, Mr. President, for coming and continuing to put focus on this. God bless you.”

East Palestine Fire Chief Keith Drabick also thanked the former president, stating, “President Trump, thank you for bringing us attention and getting the necessary resources here we need.”

“I can’t thank, not only my guys, my men and women, who did such an amazing job, but also the neighboring departments that came in to help us — together we worked as a unified team to get this situation under control,” Drabick added.

President Trump also took time to listen to Rep. Johnson and Chief Drabick give him updates on the situation in East Palestine.

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Alana Mastrangelo / Breitbart News

After leaving the fire station, President Trump made a surprise visit to the McDonald’s on S. Market Street in East Palestine, where he bought food for everyone in the restaurant — as well as the entire fire department and police department.

Trump also spent time hanging out inside the McDonald’s, where he conversed with employees and residents, who were elated to see the 45th president.

“I know this menu better than you do, I probably know it better than anybody in here,” Trump quipped upon walking into the East Palestine McDonald’s.

“We’re going to take care of the fire department, we’re going to take care of the police department, plus all of the people that are in here,” Trump added. “They’re going to get a nice, free meal.”

“You know, I wrote a note to you in First Grade,” a young man told Trump. “I was talking about how you’re a great president.”

President Trump also handed out red Make America Great Again hats to East Palestine residents, putting smiles on the faces of everyone.

Inside the McDonald’s, President Trump told Breitbart News that President Joe Biden should have been in East Palestine, but “chose to go a different route,” referring to Biden’s recent trip to Kyiv, Ukraine.

“I think he should’ve come here. I think he should’ve been here. He should’ve been here, and he chose to go a different route,” Trump said

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Alana Mastrangelo / Breitbart News

President Trump also noted that U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg — whom he humorously referred to as “Boot Edge Edge” — should have been in East Palestine “a long time ago.”

“He should have been here a long time ago, Boot Edge Edge,” Trump said. “You know, you call him ‘Boot Edge Edge.’ That’s the way.”

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Alana Mastrangelo / Breitbart News

Trump also told East Palestine residents and reporters inside the McDonald’s that “We’re like a third-world nation” with Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary.

“We’re like a third-world nation, and this is an example of it, the breakdown,” he said. “Our whole country is breaking down.”

Buttigieg is now planning to follow President Trump to East Palestine.

As Breitbart News reported on Wednesday, the Transportation Secretary — who had previously tried to downplay the train disaster by claiming derailments happen all the time — will head to East Palestine after President Trump.

President Biden also has yet to visit the Ohio town. Instead, Biden visited Ukraine earlier this week.

“I sincerely hope that when your representatives and all of the politicians get here — including Biden — they get back from touring Ukraine, that he’s got some money left over,” Trump said.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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