Glenn Kessler, a fact checker at the left-wing Washington Post, acknowledged on Monday that there is no evidence former President Donald Trump is responsible for the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio — despite the left’s attempts at blaming him.
You know it pained notorious Trump hater, “fact checker” Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post, to write this:
“So far, Trump’s rollback of regulations can’t be blamed for Ohio train wreck” https://t.co/vPLu5Ryv87
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) February 27, 2023
Following the train derailment on February 3 that released toxic chemicals into the air and water, many on the left jumped at the chance to blame Trump for the disaster. However, critics argued that this was part of the Democrats’ usual pattern — blaming everything negative that happens under a Democrat administration on the previous Republican president, while simultaneously taking credit for anything positive, even if they did not cause it.
Meanwhile, Trump was the first to show up at the disaster site. While the Biden administration did send the EPA to the area, no Biden administration official showed up until after Trump’s visit. They have been facing significant backlash for their delayed response, which only ramped up after President Joe Biden recently announced he has no intentions to visit the area.
While Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg finally visited East Palestine roughly three weeks after the incident, critics have argued that this is not good enough. Buttigieg was one of many Biden administration officials who attempted to blame the train derailment on the Trump administration — claiming that the incident could have been prevented if the former president had not withdrawn an Obama-era proposal mandating a special braking system for trains carrying highly flammable materials.
White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates also tried to blame Trump, claiming that Republicans and the Trump administration “owe East Palestine an apology for selling them out to rail industry lobbyists when they dismantled Obama-Biden rail safety precautions as well as EPA powers to rapidly contain spills.”
Kessler debunked this claim in his article, writing: “We decided to examine every possible regulatory change made under Trump that could be related to the accident and assess whether it could have made an impact. From our analysis, none of the regulatory changes made during the Trump administration at this point can be cited as contributing to the accident.”
The Washington Post fact checker went on to present and then debunk several possible ways that Trump could have been responsible for the derailment.
The Daily Caller wrote: “When it came to electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes, Kessler noted that although the Trump administration did get rid of the rule, the Biden administration made no effort to reinstate it. Kessler also argued that ECP brakes would not have helped, noting that by the time the train’s crew activated its emergency braking system, the train had already derailed.”
These accusations against the Trump administration were also debunked by National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) chair Jennifer Homendy, who explained on both CNN and Twitter that the ECP brakes would not have prevented the train from derailing.
Kessler also debunked a claim that a Trump administration rule loosening brake safety inspection requirements had contributed to the train derailment, noting that there “is no determination yet that the braking system played a role in the accident.”
He went on to refute another claim that a 2019 proposal withdrawn by the Trump administration — which would have required two crew members on duty at all times — contributed to the incident, noting that the train in question had two crew members as well as a trainee.
Kessler also discussed several other rollbacks by the Trump administration — including minimum rail safety requirements, safety audits, and deregulation of ethylene oxide — revealing that the impact of these actions ranged from “none” to “minimal.”