U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten celebrated their twins' birthday recently with a crowded soiree, the former mayor and presidential candidate told James Corden during an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden that aired after midnight Thursday.
"Our son Joseph — we call him Gus — our daughter, Penelope; they just turned one year old, and it's just the best thing in the world," Buttigieg told Corden to cheers and applause from the studio audience.
He explained that Chasten, 33, had planned a party for the kids that featured "more guests than we could fit in the house, so we opened up our garage...put the tables out there...turned the driveway into a little zone for the party."
To see how the toddlers would react to their first experience with cake, the Buttigiegs bought them tiny smash cakes.
The twins understood the assignment.
"We have a photo of them experiencing cake for the first time, and it looks like they are absolutely loving it," Corden said.
Corden revealed, to loud "awws," photos of Gus and Penelope absolutely covered in cake with absolutely no care in the world.
The proud father of two, Buttigieg, 40, said he thinks Gus is thinking at the moment that photos captured, "I've gotta think he's thinkin' I hope this is what being one year old is all about. Look at that! Just pure joy."
Corden joked, "Pure joy. Eating a cake. Dressed like DJ Khaled."
Chasten shared photos from the mid-August celebration on his Instagram page.
With a glimpse at Chasten's Instagram page at any time, it becomes clear that he and his husband, Pete, love their children more than anything.
It's also clear that, as secretary Pete said, the affair was well planned since Chasten posted on July 17 — a month before the event — that a Sunday morning party planning committee meeting had taken place, featuring another adorable snap of Penelope, Gus, and Pete.
Secretary Buttigieg appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden to discuss the summer's travel challenges and how his department is holding airlines accountable for disruptions and passenger complaints.
He says he thinks air travel will improve by the holiday season.
"We're really pressing the airlines to deliver better service," Buttigieg said. "So many people have been delayed, been canceled — it happened to me several times this summer. The fact is [airlines] need to be ready to service the tickets that they're selling."
Buttigieg acknowledged that people are returning to the skies and resuming trips that many had put off for years in the face of the global pandemic.
"We're finally doing it again, which is great," he said. "But we need to make sure that the system is ready."
He explained that the Department of Transportation is taking several steps to improve the travel experience.
"If you've ever been mistreated by an airline, if they haven't given you the refund that they owe you, if they haven't lived up to their customer service obligations, we will have your back," he said.
He encouraged people to check out a new tool called the Airline Customer Service Dashboard on the Department of Transportation website, which lists what to expect in the event of various scenarios by the airline.
"Just since we announced that we were going to post that on our website, we went from zero of the top ten airlines committing that they were going to provide a meal or hotel, for example, to eight out of ten doing it."
He said that when airlines fail to live up to the rules, "there's serious enforcement behind that, and we want to know if that's happened to you,"
Corden invited Buttigieg to employ his exceptional communication skills to help "a MAGA Republican to understand the severity of how serious it is to have top secret nuclear codes at your beach resort in Florida, having taken them from the White House."
Buttigieg, exasperated, replied, "I mean, some things hopefully you don't have to explain, right?"
He said that while he couldn't comment on the case and noted that he only knew what had been printed in the media, he served in the military and was familiar with procedures surrounding classified materials.
"Part of my job was to handle classified information, and we learned to take that incredibly seriously," Buttigieg said. "I still occasionally have a nightmare that I accidentally brought a cell phone into one of the spaces where we would read that classified material because you're not allowed to do that."
He said that it was drilled into him and others with access to handle those materials with the utmost respect.
"So, all I'll just say is that's really important," Buttigieg said.
Watch the Youtube clip below to see how Buttigieg responded to the question of whether he's seen any classified information on aliens.