Former President Donald Trump lauded the people of East Palestine and criticized the response of the current presidential administration during a stop Wednesday afternoon at the village’s fire station.
Flanked by local, state, and national officials, Trump said the nation has been watching the events surrounding the Feb. 3 train derailment, which left residents of the village and surrounding areas concerned for their well-being.
“We’re in East Palestine to show our love for our fellow Americans”
Trump expressed his admiration for first responders involved in the derailment and said railroad workers have “gone beyond the call of duty” in helping clean up the area.
The 45th president, who has announced his intentions to be on the ballot for a third time in 2024, said Norfolk Southern needs to be held accountable for the disaster.
“If they don’t come back and give you the treatment you need, we’ll be back.”
Trump criticized the Biden administration’s slow response to the incident and said the president’s decision to visit Ukraine and not East Palestine sent a strong message.
“When they announced I was coming, they changed their tune.”
EPA Administrator Michael Regan has spent time in East Palestine this week and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is expected to visit the area Thursday. Noted environmental activist Erin Brockovich has a town hall planned for Friday.
Trump brought “thousands of bottles” of drinking water with him, along with “thousands and thousands of gallons” of cleaning supplies donated by a private company.