‘Pure political theater’: Lincoln Project overshadow Trump’s Ohio visit with video highlighting rail safety hypocrisy
The Lincoln Project has released a scathing video criticising former president Donald Trump for rolling back railroad regulations ahead of his visit to East Palestine, Ohio.
The group, run by former Republicans opposed to Mr Trump’s grip on the party, released the video as the former president heads to the location of the toxic train derailment that has local residents concerened.
“As Donald Trump travels to East Palestine, Ohio today, let’s ask him one question,” the video’s narrator says. “Why did he end the railroad regulations?”
“Donald Trump spent four years demolishing rail safety protections at the expense of the health and safety of average Americans. His trip to East Palestine, Ohio today is pure political theatre & a sad attempt to mask his failures as a President. We won’t let him,” the group wrote in the video’s caption.
Residents have worried that the train disaster has polluted water sources, though local officials have assured the public that tap water is safe to drink. Mr Trump claimed credit for the Biden administration’s announcement that the Federal Emergency Management Administration would offer assistance.
Many conservatives have also criticised Mr Biden and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg for their response to the derailment, though Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan has visited East Palestine. Others have criticised the fact that Mr Biden chose to visit Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv rather than go to East Palestine.
But the Lincoln Project released the video noting how the Trump administration rolled back an Obama-era rule that required electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes on trains that carried carcinogenic materials.
“Regulations that would have kept us safe from the Norfolk Southern Railrway accident,” the video says.
Mr Trump will visit the location on Wednesday and announced that he would donate cleaning supplies to East Palestine, Fox News reported. The former president will reportedly donate thousands of gallons of cleaning supplies and pallets of water to the community in Ohio.
“President Trump is meeting with the citizens of East Palestine and will never forget them and what they are going through,” one adviser to the president told Fox. “Contrast that with Biden and the federal government who has failed them from the beginning.”