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Pete Buttigieg Rebuffs Right-Wing Reporter, Conservatives Enraged

Pete Buttigieg Rebuffs Right-Wing Reporter, Conservatives Enraged

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg

Conservative commentators called out Buttigieg for asking to take the reporter's picture.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and his husband Chasten were taking an evening walk in the nation's capital, when a reporter from a right-wing media outlet began questioning him about the train derailment in Ohio.

Jennie Taer, an investigative journalist for the right-wing outlet Daily Caller, mainly covering happenings along the southern border, posted a 46-second video on Twitter documenting the Tuesday evening incident.

The video starts with Pete Buttigieg greeting the person taping the video who’s approaching him and Chasten in the dark on a public Washington, D.C. street.

“Mr. Secretary, what do you have to say,” Taer begins before Buttigieg interrupts her.

“Hi, how ya doin’?” the transportation secretary says with a smile.

Taer returns the pleasantry and identifies herself with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“What do you have to say to the folks in Ohio, East Palestine, who are suffering right now?” Taer asked.

“I’d refer you to about a dozen interviews I’ve given today, and if you’d like to arrange a conversation, make sure to reach out to our press office,” he replied.

“I’d like to have that conversation with you,” Buttigieg added.

“Do you have a message for them?” Taer continued without acknowledging the secretary’s objection.

“I do, and I shared that with the press many times today. I refer you to those comments,” Buttigieg insisted.

When she asked if he would share the message with her, Buttigieg declined. “I’m going to refer you to the comments I made to the press because right now, I’m taking some personal time, and I’m walking down the street,” he said, smiling.

Taer asks, “Are you going down there at all?”

To which Buttigieg, apparently becoming frustrated by the continued pestering, answered, “Yep, I am,” while pulling out his phone.

Buttigieg will visit the train derailment site in East Palestine, Ohio, on Thursday.

After Taer presses Buttigieg once more, he stops and asks whether it would be okay with her if he took a photo of the reporter. Buttigieg is still smiling when he asks the question.

At that point, the video Taer posted ends.

On Twitter, Taer seemed to take offense at the request to take the journalist’s photo.

“I asked Secretary Buttigieg about the crisis in East Palestine, and I guess he didn’t like that so he took a pic of me. Im just doing my job, sir. @DailyCaller,” she wrote.’

After the Norfolk Southern train derailment on February 3 that resulted in the release of large amounts of toxic chemicals, East Palestine residents and others have pressed the secretary to visit the town. Republicans have seized on the derailment as an opportunity to criticize the Democrat.

Earlier this week, he said he would visit “when the time is right” but would first wait to consult the National Transportation Safety Board and its investigation, CNN reports.

On Fox News, right-wing personality Harris Faulkner, outraged, asked, ‘Can I get a photo with you?’ And of course we know the challenge there is that intimidation. What exactly is that?”

Another right-wing influencer wrote, “Look at the rage in Pete Buttigieg’s eyes just because female reporter Jennie Taer dares to ask him why he’s not doing his job and addressing the East Palestine, Ohio disaster. Buttigieg then takes a photo of Taer which is clearly meant to threaten her.”

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