At East Palestine, Trump tells residents: 'You are not forgotten'

Residents "need help," Republican wrote.

Published: February 22, 2023 2:23pm

Updated: February 22, 2023 3:58pm

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday delivered a reassuring address to the residents of East Palestine, Ohio, telling people gathered there who have been dealing with the weeks-long aftermath of a massive train wreck: "You are not forgotten." 

"We stand with you," Trump told the crowd at the East Palestine Fire Department, "we pray for you, and we'll stay with you in your fight to help answer and [get] accountability that you deserve." 

Trump during the address said that the train wreck had "rocked the lives of people throughout this area and long beyond [it]." 

"We've seen the first responders and railroad workers serving bravely in the line of duty," Trump continued. "We've seen citizens speaking up at the town halls ... Everybody's been watching." 

The former president claimed that residents had been "met with indifference and betrayal." 

"Biden and FEMA said they would not send federal aid to [the town] under any circumstances," Trump claimed, echoing an earlier allegation that the Biden administration was motivated to act on the East Palestine disaster after Trump himself indicated he would visit the town.

"We opened up the dam, and we got them to move," Trump said on Wednesday

Trump had arrived earlier in the day to survey the wreckage of the recent train wreck there, bringing with him truckloads of emergency goods in a move plainly meant to contrast him with his presumed 2024 rival, President Joe Biden. 

Trump was seen on Wednesday afternoon meeting with East Palestine Mayor Trent Conaway and Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance. Crews have been working to clean up the disaster area since the train's derailment near the town on Feb. 3. 

Reports on social media also showed crews unloading crates of emergency relief which had reportedly been brought by Trump as part of his visit. 

At his speech on Wednesday Trump also pointed toward the railroad company's duty to help manage the disaster. 

"Norfolk Southern needs to fulfill its responsibilities and obligations," he said.

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