President Biden shrugged off criticism Friday over his handling of the toxic Ohio train derailment that has unfolded as a public safety concern for local residents.
During an interview with ABC News, Biden visibly scoffed at East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway’s assertion that the president “doesn’t care” about his town as Biden flew to war-torn Ukraine to show solidarity in its battle against Russia.
“Do you have any plan to travel to Ohio and have you talked with the mayor yet?” ABC’s David Muir asked.
“Let’s put this in perspective,” Biden responded. “Within two hours of that derailment, the EPA was in there. Within two hours. Every major agency in the United States government that had anything to do with rail and or cleanup was there and is there. In addition to that, I’ve spoken at length to the congresspersons, the governors, the senators from both states of Pennsylvania and Ohio. And I’ve made it clear to them anything they need is available or we’ll make it available to them.”
FALLOUT FROM TOXIC OHIO TRAIN CRASH COULD BE A PREVIEW OF 2024 PRESIDENTIAL RACE
“Whatever happens here, we got to understand this the responsibility of the railroad company who’s made, by the way, tens of billions of dollars in profits. Tens of billions of dollars of profits lately,” Biden added.
“Do you plan to travel there and have you talked with the mayor?” Muir asked again.
“I can’t recall that – I don’t think I’ve talked to the mayor,” Biden responded. “I’ve talked to everyone else there and, in multiple times, talked about the senators, but both governors, I’ve talked to everyone that there is to talk to. And we made it clear that everything is available.”
BUTTIGIEG ALLIES ‘EXASPERATED’ BY CRITICISM OVER RESPONSE TO OHIO TRAIN DISASTER: REPORT
The Biden administration has faced intense backlash for what critics say has been a slow response to the ongoing disaster in the rural Ohio town.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in particular was slammed for delaying his first visit to East Palestine to Thursday, which was one day after former President Trump paid a visit.
TRUMP HANDS OUT ‘TRUMP WATER,’ SPEAKS TO THE ‘FORGOTTEN’ AMERICAN IN EAST PALESTINE: ‘WE STAND WITH YOU’
Other subjects Biden was asked about during the ABC News interview included the one-year anniversary of the Russia-Ukraine war, China and its spy balloon, his ongoing classified documents scandal and whether he will seek reelection in 2024.