Michael Patrick Leahy on WarRoom: PA Gov Shapiro Agrees with Steve Bannon, Says Norfolk Southern Failed to Explore Alternatives to Controlled Burn in Ohio Train Derailment
Host Stephen K. Bannon welcomed The Star News Network’s CEO and Editor-in-Chief of The Ohio Star, Michael Patrick Leahy, on Wednesday evening’s War Room: Battleground to talk about the confusion over who is in control of the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
Bannon: This is revolting. And I take great pride with Michael Patrick Leahy at least being a tiny group that’s forced these people to start coming forward with their lies and their misrepresentations and just the gross incompetence. Michael Patrick Leahy, you’re putting up another story right now. Explain to me first. Josh Shapiro has now gotten off the dime. He sent a blistering letter to the CEO.
But one of the things he was whining about, he said, hey, we never heard about it for a couple of days or a while because nobody contacted my head of EPA. That’s not the response. The company yes, they should. But, hey, if they don’t, big deal. You guys should be all over this.
You hear a different story every day about what they tested, what they didn’t test, all that. Walk us through where we stand right now at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the 15th, on Wednesday the 15th, and this entire thing, Michael Patrick Leahy.
Leahy: The headline here is that the governor of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, Steve, agrees with you. Yesterday on your program, you said that it was a mistake just to look at one option to do the vent and burn, the controlled burn of vinyl chloride. There were other options. He completely agrees with you. He released his letter, I think, about half an hour after you said that. And that KDKA report came just a little bit after you said that.
The other thing that’s noticeable about this is Josh Shapiro wants to entirely be separated from “the we,” the collective “we” that Governor Mike DeWine of Ohio said we’re responsible for the control of the controlled burn decision. In fact, he put this all up on Norfolk Southern.
His letter didn’t mention a word about the governor of Ohio, which I found quite interesting. But look, that letter basically and the story is up now, by the way, at The Ohio Star headline: Pennsylvania Governor Blasts Norfolk Southern for ‘Vent and Burn’ Plan In Aftermath of Train Derailment. Listen to this, Steve.
So in the letter, he took the CEO of Norfolk Southern to task because they provided inaccurate information and conflicting modeling about the impact of the controlled release. That made protective action decision-making more difficult in the immediate aftermath of the derailment. And then he agreed with you.
He criticized Norfolk Southern for their unwillingness to explore or articulate alternate courses of action to their proposed vent and burned. And that, he said that limited state and local government officials from acting properly.
Bannon: Hold it. But when they say it’s not upon Norfolk Southern to give the only model, that’s fine. They should do it through the company. But their focus is going to get these tankers off the track so we can clear the track and get trains running again and try to make some money here. When he says conflicting models from the company, yeah, that’s bad.
But you cannot base your decisions on models from the company. We’re going to be talking about financial models in a second. Guess what, ladies and gentlemen? The Congressional Budget Office just gave us the model for the next 10 years. What have we been asking the Biden administration to do it. Well, the CBO did it, okay? Because we asked for these models. Let’s get to reality. What’s the mathematics of this?
The model, ladies, and gentlemen, Navarro is going to come in here in a second. $19 trillion was added to the national debt over the next 10 years. Let me repeat that. $19 trillion. That’s $1.9 trillion per year as I said it was going to be. That means you’re over $50 trillion and the country is out of business. That model doesn’t work, but at least they put it forward. It’s the same thing here.
When you make these complicated things, you just can’t wing it. It’s not a feel play. You got to have common sense. But that is all based on what science and math tell you. We believe in evidence, data, and science here at the WarRoom. Not happy talk. And now all you do is get spinning. This thing is totally coming. When are you going to press the DeWine? Because DeWine is lying here.
Didn’t DeWine, we just had the clip up here. He said the DOD. What the hell is the Defense Department got to do with this? I don’t care about as far as finding get another opinion. But I don’t care about the Defense Department. Tell me which way the wind is going to blow. I want the guy that’s accountable in response. I want the node of responsibility, accountability. Boom.
Right there. And authority. That three boom. Who’s in that nexus? When I look at the flowchart responsibility, authority, and accountability. Who is in that box? Oh, it’s the field commander for EPA. What’s that guy’s name? You noticed they haven’t come up with that. Have they responded to your request to EPA to give the name and the function, and did they make the decision?
Leahy: The EPA has said nothing to us since we asked for them to give us the name of the onsite coordinator and whether or not they made the decision to do the vent and burn, which the former Assistant Attorney General Clark, who was your guest yesterday, said was the legal authority. By the way, we’ve also asked Governor DeWine by what authority did you, Governor DeWine, authorize this vent and burn?
They’ve not responded to us on that. And also notice that Governor Josh Shapiro is completely distancing himself from the collective “we” who made this vent and burn decision. He’s putting it all on Norfolk Southern. Presumably, they gave the advice to Mike DeWine, but this is a huge mess.
Bannon: Yes. I’m going to go out on a limb here. The model, when it finally comes, we got to get the model on the control there’s two things. They got the crash and you got the National Safety Board has got to be on that. And let me worry, Alfred E. Buttigieg, where is this clown? Right? He should be on top of that and he should have been on top of that.
In the modeling, you have two things, a controlled release and then a controlled burn. Number one, and I’m just going to say it, I will guarantee the model does not back up the fact that there were going to be, the excuse that he used, it’s going to be in jeopardy. These are unstable elements. It’s going to blow up, and you’re going to put shards of those iron tankers are going to be in houses and people’s heads everywhere, blown sky high. I’m calling BS on that. They wanted to put that stuff out of there so they could remove…
Leahy: Governor Shapiro must have been listening to you on WarRoom yesterday because, in his letter, he said you failed to look at all the other array of alternatives that might have taken longer but would have been safer. So he’s not a former naval officer. I’ve checked that out. But I think he’s got a little bit…
Bannon: I don’t think he’s a fan. I don’t think he’s a fan of War Room. So, Michael Patrick Leahy, where do your reporting and your investigative reporting with this crack staff you got? Where does it go from here?
Leahy: Our great reporters on this, both Matt Kittle, our national reporter, who just put the story up about the Pennsylvania governor, and then Hannah Poling, who’s based in Ohio, who’s been asking the governor to respond and the EPA to respond.
Where we need to look right now, Steve, is we got to get the EPA to respond and the Department of Justice to respond to the legal authority used to authorize this vent and burn, this controlled burn of this very dangerous vinyl chloride on February 6th. I think the law would have created a very big problem for Mike DeWine.
Bannon: And give me the controlled release. By the way, CNN licked. If you want to start covering news, you don’t need to send them halfway around the world. Just send them out there to eastern Ohio. Big story breaking. You guys should be all over it. Should be 20 people. There’s nobody. Crickets. MSNBC, crickets. Except they needed a clean-up in all three, so they let DeWine come on. Not one hard question got asked of DeWine today came on Morning Mika, and it was a cleanup on aisle three. Hey, guess what?
The WarRoom is there. You’ve broken too many bottles. You’re not going to get a cleanup. This is outrageous. And it’s because it’s working-class people who don’t think count and they don’t think has any power. That’s why they’re doing this. Leahy, how do they get to The Ohio Star and The Star News Network?
Leahy: I recommend right now going to theohiostar.com. It was published about five minutes ago. Our story there is about Governor Shapiro, in essence, agreeing with Steve Bannon that there should have been more options considered, and he would have recommended, I think, that he would have preferred a slower take, but a safer approach. And you can reach me on Twitter, GETTR, and Truth Social at Michaelpleahy.
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