EAST PALESTINE, Ohio – Former President Donald J. Trump visits the site of a train derailment that spilled toxic chemicals in this Ohio city Wednesday afternoon, wading into a heated battle between environmental regulations and a who’s who of Republicans. ‘t – shown on the floor.
The first Republican to announce a 2024 presidential campaign, Mr. Trump, Ohio Republican Senator J.D. He plans to appear alongside Vance and Rep. Bill Johnson, people familiar with his plans said. He is expected to help deliver relief items to the disaster-affected people.
In the 2016 and 2020 elections Mr. Mr.
But the derailment and its consequences Mr. He has focused on cutting regulations, including Trump’s own environmental policies and an Obama-era effort to put advanced brakes on trains carrying certain hazardous materials. Mr. A person close to Trump responded that federal officials thought the cause appeared to be an axle, that the brakes were not the issue, and that the rescinded regulation had no impact on the crash.
Having made only two other major appearances since announcing his candidacy on November 15, Mr. Mr. Trump, who recently traveled by train to the capital of Ukraine. Trying to contrast with Biden.
But Mr. While Trump has sometimes appeared presidential on disaster sites, his capacity for empathy has never been stronger, and he is Mr. In a famous moment, Mr. During his presidency, Trump raised eyebrows by tossing paper towels to people in need, like throwing T-shirts into the stands at a baseball game, when he visited Puerto Rico after a hurricane.
On Wednesday morning, a dozen people in Trump gear waited in the pouring rain for the former president on the city’s downtown streets. Duane Stalnaker, 78, said he had driven from nearby Salem to see Mr Trump, grabbing coffee at a local McDonald’s.
“Personally, I think the response has been very good,” Mr. Stalnaker said. “It’s something you don’t experience every week. How do you really prepare for that?”
In interviews in recent days, many residents of eastern Palestine described coughing or odd rashes on their skin, finding sick or dead farm animals, and dealing with worries and anxiety about exposure to harmful chemicals.
In Ohio, where mistrust of government and wealthy corporate interests are common sentiments, many have focused their criticism not on state and local Republican leaders, but on the Biden administration and federal officials. They said local and state Republican leaders had few resources to better manage the incident, but Mr.
“What’s he doing? Balloons from China,” said William Huger, 56, referring to Mr. Biden and East Palestine’s downing of a Chinese spy balloon over a cup of coffee Monday at Sprinklz On Top, a downtown restaurant.
A loyal supporter of Trump, Mr. Huger, Feb. 3 while watching news videos on YouTube, he said he heard a thunderous crash of train cars in his backyard. He came out to see a huge, fiery plume of smoke.
“Now the Democrats are all going to jump because the Republicans are showing them up,” he added, adding that Mr. Citing Trump’s expected visit.
All Mr. Disagree with Huger’s assessment. Some residents said they believed Mr Trump had his own motives for visiting eastern Palestine. Mr. As Huger spoke, the restaurant’s owner, Teresa Sproles, looked at him calmly and seriously and said softly, “Stop.”
“Donald Trump doesn’t have that job right now,” he said of the president. “He’s out there for votes, so he’ll be here.”
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg plans to visit East Palestine on Thursday to hear from officials and residents and get an update on the National Transportation Safety Board’s investigation.
In this trip Mr. Butiguek will be joined by Amit Bose, who leads the Federal Railroad Administration, and Tristan Brown, deputy administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.
Mr. The arrival of BoutiqueGeek is coming soon.
Mr. Buttigieg had previously said his visit did not intend to detract from emergency action and would wait until the federal response in eastern Palestine passed the emergency phase.