The Washington Post’s “fact checker” has responded to allegations from Democrats and their allies in the media that President Donald Trump was to blame for the recent toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
In a surprise ruling, the left-wing newspaper’s “fact checker” Glenn Kessler wrote Monday that Trump cannot be held responsible for the disaster.
The verdict from Kessler came despite many on the Left claiming otherwise.
On February 3, a Norfolk Southern train, carrying toxic chemicals, derailed just outside of the small Ohio town.
The train wreck results in hazardous chemicals being released into the air and water.
The Biden Administration has come under fire after Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg took weeks to visit the site.
Democrat President Joe Biden has yet to visit East Palestine and says he “can’t recall” whether he’s even spoken with the mayor about the disaster.
White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates told USA Today 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.”
Buttigieg also tried to lay blame on the Trump administration, arguing that the accident could have been prevented if Trump had not withdrawn an Obama-era proposal that would have required a special braking system for trains carrying highly flammable materials.
“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,” Kessler wrote.
‘From our analysis, none of the regulatory changes made during the Trump administration at this point can be cited as contributing to the accident.”
Kessler presented and then debunked several possible ways Trump could have helped cause the derailment.
When it came to electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes, Kessler noted 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.
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chair Jennifer Homendy also dismissed allegations that Trump was responsible, explaining on both CNN and Twitter that the electronically controlled pneumatic brakes would not have prevented the derailment.
Kessler went on to debunk a claim that a Trump rule loosening brake safety inspection requirements contributed to the accident, writing that there “is no determination yet that the braking system played a role in the accident.”
When it came to the amount of crew present, the Trump administration withdrew a proposal in 2019 that required two crew members on duty at all times.
As Kessler noted, the train had two crew members as well as a trainee.
Kessler went through several other Trump-era rollbacks such as minimum rail safety requirements, safety audits, and the deregulation of ethylene oxide.
He found that the impact of Trump’s decisions ranged from “none” to “minimal.”
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