Pete Buttigieg slams Fox News over controversy over taking husband on official trip

Last April Biden’s Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg competed in the Invictus Games in the Netherlands, a high-profile international sporting event for wounded veterans. As is customary for presidents and cabinet members, Buttigieg took his husband Chasten with him on the trip.

But after Fox News recently got wind of the trip — though apparently nothing major was happening in Washington this week — the cable news network tried to make a scandal of it. It backfired, however, when the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, went toe-to-toe with Fox News host Bret Baier on Thursday night, deftly handling the controversy.

“They also took your husband Chasten to a sporting event in the Netherlands on a military plane,” grilled Baier Buttigieg, who replied with a laugh, “That’s quite a twist.”

“Of course not!” exclaimed the 40-year-old when asked if the trip had been reimbursed.

“I led a presidential delegation to support American wounded warriors and injured service members — the Invictus Games,” Buttigieg said. “As has been the tradition for many years, I led the American delegation, which was one of the great honors of my time in this job. And the diplomatic protocol of a presidential delegation dictates that the principal is often accompanied by his or her spouse.”

Buttigieg, who also served in the military and is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, noted that the trip came just weeks after the conflict began in Ukraine and that he had an opportunity to interact with Ukrainian soldiers at the US embassy .

“Some of them went back to the battlefield from the Games to fight for their country,” he continued, noting that the trip was also important for meeting the Dutch Prime Minister about infrastructure.

“But I want you to understand this,” Buttigieg told Baier. “Before me, it was the Secretary of the Army under President Trump who made this trip with his wife. Before that, it was Mrs. Trump as First Lady… Before that. Mrs. Obama did the same.”

“And I think the question that worries me is if no one is raising questions about why, Minister [Mark] Esper and his wife led this delegation like they should have, then why is it any different when it’s me and my husband?” Buttigieg asked, turning it over.

“Understood,” Baier quickly admitted.

By Friday morning, the gig had gone viral as people began sharing the clip and taking a lap of honor over Buttigieg slamming Baier on his own network.

“Pete Buttigieg is a Michael Jordan-level cable television guest. I’ve never seen anyone come close,” tweeted Matt Bennett, executive vice president of public affairs.

Others pointed out that Baier never stood a chance against Buttigieg.

Will Fox News ever learn their lesson? It’s unlikely but fun to watch for the rest of us. Pete Buttigieg slams Fox News over controversy over taking husband on official trip

Lindsay Lowe

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