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Videos: Trump buys first responders McDonald’s in East Palestine after train derailment

Former President of the United States Donald Trump at the "Rally to Protect Our Elections" hosted by Turning Point Action at Arizona Federal Theatre in Phoenix, Ariz., July 24, 2022. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
February 24, 2023

Former President Donald Trump visited the residents of East Palestine, Ohio on Wednesday, donating water and blasting other leaders for being slow to visit the site of the recent toxic train derailment.

“What this community needs now are not excuses and all of the other things you’ve been hearing, but answers and results,” he said during a speech at a local firehouse, adding that if officials do not “give you the treatment that you need, we will be back.”

Trump also visited a local McDonald’s, where he bought meals for first responders, as reported by the Associated Press. He was filmed joking with restaurant employees, saying, “I know this menu better than you do. I probably know it better than anybody in here.”

Footage shared on social media showed Trump interacting with a cheering crowd and saying it was “terrible” that Biden had not already visited.

Trump, who is running a third campaign for president, said he hoped that President Joe Biden would have “some money left over” for East Palestine after his trips to the Ukrainian and Polish capitals this week, which saw the president announce another half a billion dollars for Ukraine’s defense against the Russian invasion.

Trump’s full 10-minute speech, delivered at the East Palestine Fire Department, was posted on YouTube.

Pressed multiple times on Thursday to explain why Biden had not visited the town yet, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said only that the president was coordinating the multi-agency response and receiving updates on the situation.

“This is a President that understands what people are going through when they’re going through hardships. He understands that personally. And that’s why he’s getting updates regularly,” she said.

The Feb. 3 derailment triggered fears of air and water contamination after chemicals, which officials feared would explode, were deliberately burned in several of the cars, sending a huge plume of smoke over the town. 

While EPA Administrator Michael Regan declared the air and water safe while visiting the town Thursday,  residents have anecdotally complained of lingering odors and physical symptoms, and, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, an estimated 3,500 fish were killed in nearby waterways.

READ MORE: Cat suffers breathing issues, is euthanized after OH train derailment]

During his speech, Trump said he brought “thousands of bottles of water – Trump water, actually, most of it.”

“We have it in trucks, and we bought some on my plane today,” he said, adding that tractor trailers were loaded with water for deliveries. “I think you’re going to have plenty of water for a long time, maybe.”