Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg shared the photo he took of this reporter with his staff because he was taken off guard and wanted a record of the interaction where he was confronted in the streets of Washington, D.C., over the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, according to internal Department of Transportation communications obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
This reporter confronted Buttigieg Feb. 21 over a train derailment that spilled toxic chemicals in Ohio, in a video that amassed millions of views. During the interaction, Buttigieg asked for this reporter’s photo and captured it on his phone.
— Jennie Taer (@JennieSTaer) February 22, 2023
“Since she came up from behind on the street at night recording me it kind of threw me off balance, and not knowing if it was legit I felt like I should get some record of my own of the interaction before it ended,” Buttigieg wrote in an email to his communication staff on Feb. 21 with the photo attached, according to internal Department of Transportation documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. (RELATED: Pete Buttigieg Confronted By DCNF Reporter In DC Streets Over Response To Toxic Train Wreck)
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 received criticism over his response to the derailment, including for not discussing the derailment in public until posting a thread on Twitter on Feb. 13.
“What do you have to say to the folks in Ohio, East Palestine, who are suffering right now?” this reporter asked during the interaction.
“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 responded, referring this reporter to the comments he made earlier that day and adding that he was taking some “personal time.”
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