When Transportation Secretary “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg reluctantly followed former President Donald Trump to East Palestine, Ohio, he was not treated kindly by the locals. In fact, the mayor of East Palestine, likely furious at how long it took Mayor Pete to show up, humiliated him.
How so? By making him wait in the hallway for over half an hour while he sat and chatted with Trump ally and former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani. The Daily Mail broke that story, reporting that:
Pete Buttigieg had to wait his turn behind Rudy Giuliani to speak with East Palestine’s Mayor Trent Conaway on Thursday after putting off for 20 days a visit to the Ohio village thrown into chaos after a toxic train derailment earlier this month.
While Giuliani spoke with Mayor Conaway on Thursday, Transportation Secretary Buttigieg waited in the hall for at least 30 minutes.
Mayor Conway said that he’s interested in helping the residents of his town, not partisanship. As the Daily Mail report put it, “Speaking mayor to former mayor, Conaway said he isn’t focused on partisanship and is only interested in ensuring the safety of his constituents who have felt ignored by the Biden administration in the aftermath of a train crash in their small town.”
Giuliani’s spokesperson said Mayor Conway said “I am grateful to Mayor Giuliani for being here to help us. My top priority is to ensure the health and safety of the people of this city and our region.” He then reportedly added “I will work with anyone who wants to help East Palestine, and their partisan affiliation is irrelevant to me.”
Giuliani, discussing the visit, said “I’ve grown concerned about the lack of a response by our federal government to help the people of East Palestine. I wanted to offer my knowledge and experience when dealing with crisis’ management and most importantly—to help the people here who are our fellow Americans.”
But while partisan affiliation might not be important to him, he’s evidently quite furious with the Biden Administration for the lack of support it has provided to his town. Speaking about Biden visiting the Ukraine instead of his town, Mayor Trent Conway said:
“That was the biggest slap in the face that tells you right now he doesn’t care about us. He can send every agency he wants to, but I found out this morning and one of the briefings that he was in the Ukraine giving billions of dollars away to people over there and not to us and I’m furious Presidents Day and our country Presidents Day in our country east. He’s over Ukraine so that tells you what kind of guy he is.”
Then, when asked about those comments later, he said “I was real frustrated last night if you’re talking about the comments I made last night. I was very frustrated and I stand by those comments. But if [Biden] wants to come, he’s welcome.”
"*" indicates required fields