Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg pushed back on negative reporting this week by Fox News during an interview Thursday with Bret Baier, the network’s chief political anchor.
Buttigieg was targeted for having traveled to The Hague in the Netherlands with his husband Chasten last spring aboard on a military aircraft to attend the Invictus Games; an international sporting competition for wounded, injured, and sick military service members.
“I led a presidential delegation to support American wounded warriors and injured service members, the Invictus Games, as has been tradition for many years,” Buttigieg said, noting, “the diplomatic protocol on a presidential delegation is that the principal is often accompanied by their spouse.”
He told Baier, “Before me, it was the secretary of the Army under President Trump who took that trip with his wife. Before that, it was Mrs. Trump as first lady who went to the Invictus Games. Before that, Mrs. Obama did the same thing.”
Buttigieg concluded, “And I guess the question on my mind is, if no one’s raising questions about why [Defense] Secretary [Mark] Esper and his wife led that delegation, as well they should have, then why is it any different when it’s me and my husband?”
A Fox News Digital column on Wednesday cited the trip to the Invictus Games among examples of “recent crises facing the Department of Transportation under Buttigieg’s leadership.”
Asked by Fox to comment for that story, the White House shot back with a similar question as that which Buttigieg posed to Baier: “Could you please show us Fox’s similarly critical reporting from when Trump administration officials and their spouses took military flights to the Invictus Games to support American veterans, before Pete Buttigieg — a Navy veteran who the president is proud to have serving in this administration — did the exact same thing?”
Fox News Media’s senior executive vice president of corporate communications and Fox News Digital’s executive vice president and editor in chief did not immediately respond to a request for clarification on whether the network’s critical reporting of Buttigieg’s trip was motivated by the fact that the transportation secretary is gay with a same-sex spouse.
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