Former President Donald Trump made a surprise visit to East Palestine, Ohio, on Wednesday, to deliver truckloads of bottled water to residents affected by a train derailment that occurred earlier this month.
“To the people of East Palestine and to the nearby communities in Ohio and Pennsylvania, we have told you loud and clear: you are not forgotten,” Trump told East Palestine residents. “We stand with you, we pray for you, and we will stay with you.”
The train derailment caused more than three dozen freight cars, including 11 carrying hazardous materials, to come off the tracks near the Pennsylvania state line, potentially contaminating the local water supply and soil.
Trump arrived at a firehouse roughly half a mile from the site and was joined by several state and local officials, including Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, and Mayor Trent Conaway.
Trump, wearing his trademark red “Make America Great Again” cap and an overcoat, described the federal response to the toxic train derailment as a “betrayal” and spoke about the community’s need for “answers and results.”
He appeared with several state and local leaders, giving the visit the look of an official trip.
“In too many cases, your goodness and perseverance were met with indifference and betrayal,” Trump said, in reference to Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s mishandling of the cleanup.
“Biden and FEMA said they would not be sending federal aid to East Palestine. As soon as I announced that I’m going, he announced a team will go. Hopefully he will also be there,” Trump wrote on Truth Social over the weekend. “This is good news because we got them to ‘move.’ The people of East Palestine need help. I’ll see you on Wednesday!”
In addition to delivering water and cleaning supplies, some MAGA vendors reportedly traveled to the town in conjunction with Trump’s visit with plans to sell merchandise and donate the profits to the recovery effort.
Trump also criticized Biden for traveling to Ukraine and Poland in recent days to commemorate the first anniversary of the war in Ukraine instead of visiting East Palestine.
While visiting with the people of East Palestine, Trump delivered a direct message to Biden, saying, “Get over here.”