Buttigieg’s Office Refuses To Say Why He Took Photo Of DCNF’s Jennie Taer, Demands Reporter Turn Off Camera

[Photo Provided By Alexa Schwerha]

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Reagan Reese Contributor
Font Size:

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio – Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg’s press secretary refused on Thursday to say why he took a photo of Daily Caller News Foundation investigative reporter Jennie Taer, who confronted the secretary over a train derailment that spilled toxic chemicals in Ohio.

Buttigieg took a photo of Taer on Tuesday after she pressed him on his message to the people of East Palestine, Ohio, following the derailment of a train carrying toxic chemicals which prompted evacuations and shelter-in-place orders. During his visit to East Palestine on Thursday, Buttigieg’s press secretary would not say why the photo of Taer was taken and refused to answer what was being done with the photo even after DCNF reporter Alexa Schwerha turned her camera off.

“I’m happy to answer your question. I would like for you guys to not have your cameras on,” Buttigieg’s press secretary told Schwerha.

The Department of Transportation has not responded to the DCNF’s multiple requests for comment on why the photo of Taer was taken.

“Well, I’d refer you to about a dozen interviews I’ve given today, and if you’d like to reach conversation, be sure to reach out to the press office,” Buttigieg told Taer, adding that he was taking some “personal time,” when she approached him on Tuesday. (RELATED: ‘Do My Part’: Business Owners Offer Aid To East Palestine After Train Derailment)

“I guess he didn’t like that so he took a pic of me,” Taer posted on Twitter about the conversation.

On Feb. 3, a Norfolk Southern freight train carrying toxic chemicals derailed outside of East Palestine causing 2,000 residents to evacuate before a controlled chemical fumes were released in order to prevent an explosion. Buttigieg has come under fire for not addressing the derailment until Feb. 13 in a thread on Twitter.

Alexa Schwerha contributed to this report.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact