Donald Trump Jr attacked for ‘unvarnished homophobia’ in comments about Pete Buttigieg

Transporation secretary under fire for Ohio derailment response

John Bowden
Washington DC
Thursday 23 February 2023 22:52 GMT
Pete Buttigieg admits he waited too long to address Ohio train derailment

Donald Trump Jr joined the chorus of left and right voices criticising Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg after a major train derailment, but unlike others found himself fixated on the secretary’s sexuality.

During a Newsmax interview this week the son of the twice-impeached former president went on a tirade against Mr Buttigieg and insisted that the former South Bend mayor was named to his position as a diversity hire.

A video of Mr Trump Jr making the remarks was viewed hundreds of thousands of times.

Journalist Aaron Rupar said it was an example of “unvarnished homophobia” from the former president’s son, though other conservatives including Mr Trump’s former ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, defended him.

The eldest son of former President Donald Trump was active, as was much of Trumpworld, in generating hype for Mr Trump’s visit on Wednesday to East Palestine, Ohio. The town was the site of a devastating train crash in early February, and many residents have raised concerns about health issues potentially resulting from the crash and the dangerous chemical contents of the train.

The visit was as much a campaign stop for the former president in a state he won twice as it was a visit of mercy; he savaged the Biden administration as volunteers handed out pallets of water he bragged were “Trump water”.

A request for an estimate from the Trump campaign of the total amount of goods the former president donated was not returned.

Local residents have accused the federal government, which has said it will hold train operator Norfolk Southern responsible for the cleanup, of being slow to react to the chaos. Biden administration figures dispute this, noting that federal authorities were on the ground within hours of the crash, even though President Joe Biden and other senior administration figures were not.

Trust between locals and state/federal authorities remains frayed in East Palestine and the surrounding communities thanks to insistences from state officials that residents who have raised concerns about the safety of their drinking water are mistaken, while the arrest of a journalist covering the scene also drew accusations of a coverup.

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