In a story that is still developing, a married couple were removed from their JetBlue flight before taking off at New York City's JFK International Airport after an incident with Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner. Hunter College professor Matthew Lasner tweeted the following message at 9:29 on Thursday morning.
Obviously there are a lot of unanswered questions about this tweet. But that's nothing compared to what Lasner tweeted two hours later (and deleted shortly afterward).
According to The Wrap, Lasner's husband confronted Ms. Trump, who was flying with her three children, on the plane and began shouting, "Your father is ruining the country!" JetBlue staff quickly removed him, later issuing this statement:
The decision to remove a customer from a flight is not taken lightly. If the crew determines that a customer is causing conflict on the aircraft, the customer will be asked to deplane, especially if the crew feels the situation runs the risk of escalation during flight. In this instance, our team worked to re-accommodate the party on the next available flight.
Update: another passenger has given a thorough and reasoned account of the incident.
The passenger, Marc Scheff, writes:
Well my son and I made the news today. That's us in the photo. I am sitting in the next row up from Ivanka and surrounded by her family. The whole incident happened literally 15 inches from me. The article is sensationalizing this a little. Here is what happened.
He didn't accost her directly.
When he got on and saw her, sitting behind me, he said "oh my god. This is a nightmare" and was visibly shaking. He said "they ruin the country now they ruin our flight!" (Context: Boarding and therefore the flight was delayed because they needed to get on first through some other way)
He did not yell. He was also not what I would describe as calm. Agitated maybe. His husband behind him was very calm. His son is adorable and sharply dressed.
When the JetBlue staff went back to speak to the man I overheard Ivanka say to them "I don't want to make this a thing." My assessment is that she was happy to let the man take his seat. Security made a different call
And for good reason. The man's calm husband had tweeted earlier that his husband was "chasing them down to harass them."
I did not witness his actual removal some rows back. If he screamed, I didn't hear it.
My politics aside...
Honestly, if I was her security I would have made the same call. I don't _think_ the man was capable of violence, sure. But I would worry that he would leave his seat or cause a scene in some way. And his husband had tweeted that he planned on doing that. So, again you know my politics, but I would have made the same call here.