Transportation Secretary diversity hire Pete Buttigieg snapped at a reporter on Tuesday who pressed him for answers regarding the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Jennie Taer approached Buttigieg while he was walking down the street with his “husband” and identified herself as a reporter. Her questions focused on the Norfolk Southern train derailment in Ohio that leaked toxic chemicals into nearby soil and waterways and resulted in a controlled burn of vinyl Chloride.
“What do you have to say to the folks in Ohio, East Palestine, who are suffering right now?” Taer asked Buttigieg.
“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,” Buttigieg said. “I’d like to have that conversation with you.”
“Do you have a message for them?” Taer asked again.
“I do and I shared that with the press many times today. I refer you to those comments,” he repeated.
Taer asked if he would share that message with her, but Buttigieg again declined to comment because he was “taking some personal time.”
“No. 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,” Buttigieg said.
When asked whether he would be visiting East Palestine, Buttigieg told Taer, “I’ll share that when I’m ready and not talking on the street.”
“Can I get a photo of you?” Buttigieg asked before Taer’s video ended.
Taer uploaded the 46-second interaction to her Twitter shortly after it occurred.
“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,” Taer tweeted. “Im just doing my job, sir.”
The video prompted outrage among conservatives on social media, with some suspecting Buttigieg’s asked for Tear’s photo to keep her on a “list” of journalists critical of the Biden administration.
“Q: Why would Pete Buttigieg need to take a photo of a journalist asking questions about Ohio and just doing her job?” One user tweeted. “A: They’re making lists.”
“Why did the Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg need a picture of a member of our FREE press?” Fox News host Harris Faulkner asked. “Is he trying to be funny… or is something else at play here? Targeting? Journalists are allowed to speak with public officials who are in public.
Although Taer’s video has been viewed more than 2.5 million times, it has largely been ignored by the corporate press.
“This is how elitists who are made uncomfortable act out. Amazing how few members of the press are commenting on this,” Joe Concha tweeted.