Trump praises ‘easy to find’ East Palestine mayor who called Biden’s Ukraine visit a ‘slap in the face’

Former President Trump visited the site of the horrific train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio on Wednesday and praised the town’s mayor, Trent Conway, joking that he was “very easy to find” while noting that he worked “tirelessly” for his community in the wake of the incident.

“Trent, where is Trent… he’s very easy to find,” Trump stated as he sought out Conway, calling him forth to shake his hand.

The derailment occurred on February 3rd and the mayor, as well as the town of 5,000 residents, found themselves in the headlines as they struggled to survive the catastrophe.

Conway blasted President Biden on Monday for choosing to visit Ukraine instead of coming to East Palestine, calling it “the biggest slap in the face that tells you right now he doesn’t care about us,” in an interview with Fox News.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

Despite excoriating the president for choosing Ukraine over East Palestine, Conway later said, “I would never turn anybody away. This has been made into a political pawn game. If he wants to come visit, he can come visit.”

“We don’t want to be political pawns. We don’t want to be a sound bite or news bite. We just want to go back to living our lives the way they were,” he asserted, according to the Daily Mail.

(Video Credit: Fox News)

Republicans have made a point of visiting the site of the disaster in recent weeks. They have slammed the Biden administration’s lack of response to the toxic spill, taking special aim at Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Biden for not touring the disaster area.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan has reportedly been the only one from the Biden administration to visit East Palestine so far. Buttigieg is now scheduled to visit the town on Thursday, one day after Trump arrived there. The Biden administration is giving the lame excuse that visiting the site would only distract from recovery and cleanup efforts.

While ignoring East Palestine, the Biden administration has instead been attempting to blame Trump and Republicans for the disaster. They contend that Trump could have done more to strengthen rail and environmental regulations.

In a statement, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates accused the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress of “selling [East Palestine] out to rail industry lobbyists.” He called on the GOP to “work across the aisle with us to put Obama-Biden protections back in place and go further.”

Bates pointed to Trump’s purported decision to nix an Obama-era proposal that would have required stronger brakes on trains carrying hazardous materials, along with Republican lawmakers’ alleged efforts to block Biden’s plan to designate more wetlands and waterways as federally protected land.

During his visit to East Palestine, Trump shredded Biden’s response as a “betrayal” and claimed the community needs “answers and results,” not excuses.

Residents attending Trump’s address were notably angry concerning the White House’s lack of action and attention over the incident. Hundreds of people lined the streets waving MAGA flags and chanting, “No more Joe!” as Trump arrived.

The former president brought thousands of bottles of water, cleaning, supplies, and canned food to the town while he was there.

He also stopped at a local McDonald’s where he ordered Big Macs for the first responders and the members of his team. The former president took the time to hand out signed MAGA hats to the customers there as well.

“I know this menu better than you do. I probably know it better than anybody in here,” he kidded the server and requested they “knock it out fast” so he could eat it on the plane.

Trump appeared with Senator JD Vance, Mayor Conaway, and state and local leaders during his speech. The former president praised the local fire department and law enforcement, as well as the “strength and courage” of the residents during his visit. “You are not forgotten,” he told them.

“In too many cases, your goodness and perseverance were met with indifference and betrayal,” Trump declared at the event.

Trump vowed to return if the community did not get help from the Biden administration. A reporter asked him what his message to Biden is and Trump responded, “Get over here.”

Many residents think that Biden and Buttigieg visiting the town now is too little, too late.

It’s a little too late,” East Palestine resident William Hugar, 56, told the Daily Mail.

“Like he can come, but for what?” he asked.

“We stand with you,” Trump told the crowd at the East Palestine Fire Department, “We pray for you, and we’ll stay with you in your fight to help answer and [get] accountability that you deserve.”

“Biden and FEMA said they would not send federal aid to [the town] under any circumstances,” Trump claimed. “We opened up the dam, and we got them to move.”

In response, the Biden administration reportedly called Trump’s speech a photo-op according to the Daily Mail.

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