Buttigieg's 'Press Person' Declines to Answer Questions in Front of Cameras: 'A Little Bit Aggressive'


Amid questions about why it took nearly three weeks for Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to visit East Palestine, Ohio, his spokeswoman says she is willing to answer them — just not in front of cameras.

On Thursday, journalist Savannah Hernandez tried to ask Buttigieg about the response to the derailment. However, he did not respond.

Instead, a woman who identified herself as the secretary’s “press person” offered to answer questions as long as she was not on camera.

“I’m happy to have a conversation with you. I do not want to be on camera,” she said, adding, “I think that is a little bit aggressive.”

She declined to answer why she believes it is “aggressive” to be filmed.

Watch: Fed-Up Mom Begs Cops to Stop Sending Son Home After She Turns Him for Car Theft: 'Lock Him Up, Do Something'

Watch the video below:

The moment comes as Buttigieg was in the town following the Feb. 3 train derailment there.

While federal agencies have been working to address the incident, there have been allegations of a slow federal response and questions about whether top-level officials would visit the town.

Do you think she should have answered the question with cameras on?

No one wants to feel ambushed or cornered by people shoving cameras or phones in their faces to record them — potentially being put in a situation where their words can be taken out of context.

And there is no requirement that a spokesperson for a federal agency must answer every question on camera.

However, this encounter is another example of the response to the derailment sparking more questions. She did not say it was not a good time, or they would answer the questions during a separate event. Instead, the claim was that having cameras is “aggressive.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) shared the video and wrote, “Most transparent administration ever.”

Pete Buttigieg Admits He's Had Issues With His Electric Vehicle, So He's Spending 100 Million Taxpayer Dollars on the Problem

Meanwhile, Megan McArdle, a columnist at The Washington Post, tweeted, “Rather than being a stepping stone to the presidency, Pete Buttigieg’s time as Secretary of Transportation is looking more and more like the millstone that will finally drown his ambitions to higher office.”

Chuck Ross, an investigative reporter for The Washington Free Beacon, tweeted, “It’s not fair for journalists to ask Mayor Pete direct questions like this. He deserves at least a couple hours to workshop his answers.”

This question should be expected. People have been asking when Buttigieg would visit the town. So it would seem they should have an answer ready to go without a hassle.

While asking reporters to turn their cameras off because they are “aggressive” is not proof of officials trying to hide something, it can certainly raise questions about the level of transparency.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Comment Down Below