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‘So Creepy’: Pete Buttigieg Taking Photo Of DCNF Reporter Sparks Backlash


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Twitter users reacted to a Tuesday evening confrontation between a Daily Caller News Foundation reporter and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, with some calling Buttigieg out for taking a photo of the reporter.

DCNF investigative reporter Jennie Taer posted a 45-second video on social media of her asking Buttigieg if he had a message for residents of East Palestine, Ohio, the location of a train derailment that resulted in the spilling of toxic chemicals. Buttigieg referred her to comments he made in press interviews, said he was taking “some personal time” and took a photo of Taer at the end of the interaction. (RELATED: ‘Everything’s Fine’: Tucker Carlson Rips Biden Admin’s Lack Of Concern Over ‘Toxic Smoke’ From Ohio Trainwreck)

“Why did the Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg need a picture of a member of our FREE press? Is he trying to be funny… or is something else at play here? Targeting?” Fox News host Harris Faulkner tweeted. “Journalists are allowed to speak with public officials who are in public.”

“Dear @SecretaryPete: Why did you ask to take a photo of a reporter questioning you? You’re a government official,” Mike Davis of the Article III Project posted on Twitter. “She has a 1st Amendment right to question you on a public sidewalk. And you had your federal protective detail with you. So you can’t claim you felt threatened.”

Other users questions Buttigieg’s motives, with one labeling the photo “creepy.”

“This is absolutely unacceptable. Every journalist and news host should take Pete Buttigieg to task for this attempted intimidation of a journalist. Who holds him accountable and who ignores this will say a LOT about the state of the media,” said Robbie Starbuck, a former Republican candidate for Congress, tagging CNN hosts Jake Tapper, Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper in the post.

“So creepy he wanted your picture,” Stephanie Hamill, a Turning Point USA ambassador and writer for the Media Research Center posted.

Other users praised Taer’s reporting, while some took the opportunity to mock Buttigieg with memes.

“Well done @JennieSTaer of the @DailyCaller,” Newsmax host Benny Johnson posted.

“@SecretaryPete tonight in DC,” Republican Rep. Mike Collins of Georgia said while tweeting a meme.

A train carrying toxic chemicals derailed near East Palestine, Ohio, Feb. 3, prompting evacuations and shelter-in-place orders as authorities moved to address the release of the chemicals.

Buttigieg, a former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has come under fire for his handling of the derailment, including for not discussing the derailment in public until posting a thread on Twitter on Feb. 13. That same day, Buttigieg expressed concern about the demographics of construction workers.

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