Former president Trump visits East Palestine recovery areas
Former president Donald Trump landed at Youngstown Warren Regional Airport around noon Wednesday, and along with his son Don Jr. quickly piled into the motorcade to East Palestine. There, he met with mayor Trent Conaway, congressman Bill Johnson and other state officials. He toured part of the recovery zone and got briefed on the progress made since the derailment February 3.
Trump then gave a brief speech - mostly thanking those taking part in the emergency response and recovery - before encouraging the village's 4,700 residents on behalf of the country.
"They've been inspired by your strength and your courage and how you've come together to stand up for the families in your area," Trump said.
From there, the former president ended up at a local McDonald's to order lunch.
He chatted with a few employees before taking a few questions from reporters, including 21's Lindsay McCoy. She pressed him about criticism from Democrats about his reversing safety regulations for railroads.
"I had nothing to do with it," Trump said.
The response prompted a fact check.
He did, in fact, roll back many Obama-era regulations during his first two years in office.
One of them required safer brakes on trains that carried hazardous materials.
The Biden Administration has hesitated to restore those mandates for fear of pushback from the railroad industry,, and has called on Congress to do it.
Nevertheless, Trump wrapped up his visit with a promise, saying that he may be back.
"You are not forgotten," he said. "We will stand with you, we pray for you and we will stay with you in your fight to help answer...the accountability that you deserve."