WH Chief Of Staff Lashes Out At Report On Buttigieg Troubles: ‘Ridiculous Take’

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Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain criticized an Axios report Thursday laying out various problems that have arisen during Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s time in office.

The piece, titled “Historic transportation crises haunt Buttigieg,” described the flood of transportation issues that befell Buttigieg in the past two years. The Transportation Secretary has faced scrutiny for a recent systematic outage causing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to temporarily ground all domestic flights Wednesday and the recent cancellation of thousands of Southwest Airlines flights.

Klain jumped to the Buttigieg’s defense in a Thursday tweet.

“This is a ridiculous take,” he wrote. “As we have reopened the economy and accelerated its growth, there have been many challenges. @SecretaryPete has done an incredible job in tackling them and getting America moving again—without the kind of disruptions we’ve seen in other countries.”

Buttigieg vowed to investigate the cause of the outage that led to the grounded flights, and cast doubt on suspicions that it was a cyberattack. This outage prevented air traffic control from alerting pilots of potential hazards on their flight paths.

During the week of Christmas, Southwest Airlines accounted for 63% of flight cancellations, allegedly due to issues with its operational system that made it difficult for staff to access new assignments. (RELATED: ‘How Did This Happen?” Tucker Carlson Rips Buttigieg Over Largest Grounding Of US Flights ‘Since 9/11’) 

The Department of Transportation received thousands of complaints from Southwest Airlines customers, leading the agency to transfer all the complaints to the airline, CNN reported. The agency directed the airline to “provide substantive responses” to the customers within the next 60 days in a Wednesday deal.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday that President Joe Biden still has confidence in Buttigieg and “respects” his efforts to handle these crises.