There was drama aboard a JetBlue flight to Palm Beach this morning when a gay couple and their child were removed for confronting Ivanka Trump aboard the plane. Trump was apparently sitting in coach with her husband, Jared Kushner, their kids and some cousins.
Accounts depicting exactly what happened vary. Outlets including The Daily Mail and TMZ have depicted the passenger as “out of control” and “screaming,” though an eye-witness who was on the flight has disputed that account entirely.
The passenger at issue is Dan Goldstein, a gay Brooklyn attorney, who was on the flight with his husband, Matt Lasner, and their son. After being removed from the plane, they were reportedly placed on the very next flight.
According to passenger Marc Scheff, who was seated in front of the Trumps with a young son of his own, “[Goldstein] 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!'” [Presumably because Trump’s presence delayed the flight.]
“He did not yell,” Scheff says. “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.”
Scheff later wrote, “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.”
The tweet Scheff is referring to is one of three tweets posted by Lasner, whose Twitter account has since been deleted, presumably after receiving death threats from Trump supporters. Those tweets appear below:
JetBlue has since released a 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. Our team worked to re-accommodate the party on the next available flight.”