February 15, 2024

Trump criticizes Biden on East Palestine response ahead of Ohio trip


Former President Donald Trump is lashing out at President Joe Biden ahead of Biden’s scheduled trip to East Palestine, Ohio, this week, saying the current president waited too long to visit the site of the February 2023 train derailment.

“Biden should have gone there a long time ago — for him to go now is an insult to those who live and work in East Palestine, and the Great State of Ohio, itself. I can’t believe anyone wants him there? I know he doesn’t want to be there …,” Trump said late Wednesday in a post on Truth Social.

Biden’s trip, which came at the invitation of East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway, comes a year after a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine — a town of about 5,000 residents — on Feb. 3, 2023.

The derailment included 11 tank cars carrying hazardous materials that subsequently ignited, fueling fires that damaged an additional 12 rail cars that did not derail, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. First responders implemented a 1-mile evacuation zone surrounding the derailment site, affecting up to 2,000 residents. There were no fatalities or serious injuries reported.

This aerial view shows the aftermath of the 2023 Norfolk Southern derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. (Photo: NTSB)

Earlier this month, the NTSB announced that on June 25 it will release its final findings on the cause of the derailment.

In September, Biden issued an executive order directing that Norfolk Southern address any long-term effects on the community, according to the White House.

During his visit, Biden plans to meet with residents affected by the toxic spill, as well as discuss federal support to the community, according to administration officials, adding he will “hold Norfolk Southern accountable.”

Trump visited the site within weeks of the incident and criticized the federal response, calling it a “betrayal.”

“It was such a great honor to be with the people of East Palestine immediately after the tragic event took place,” he said in his post Wednesday. “I got to know so many of the people, in particular the wonderful Mayor, Trent Conaway.”


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