Earlier this week, Ivanka Trump and her family were harassed as they sat on their JetBlue flight, waiting for takeoff. The man who approached her, identified as Brooklyn-based attorney Dan Goldstein, was eventually removed from the plane along with his husband, Matthew Lasner.
A man who claimed to be a witness to the incident said that, contrary to some reports, Goldstein was not yelling — although he was visibly upset. Marc Scheff explained via Facebook:
“That’s me and my son in the photo you see on the internet. I was on the flight with Ivanka (not the guy who got removed). 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.
A man got on and got upset about her and her family. 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 for sure. 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. She handled the situation calmly and with class. Security made the call to remove the man.”
Scheff also noted that, in light of Lasner’s tweet (his account has since been deleted) indicating that Goldstein had intentionally sought Ivanka out with the intent to harass her, he didn’t blame security for making that call.
The tweet, posted before boarding, read:
Ivanka and Jared at JFK T5, flying commercial. My husband chasing them down to harass them. #banalityofevil
— Matthew Lasner (@mattlasner) December 22, 2016
And Scheff responded: [emphasis added]
“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.
You know my politics, but I would have made the same call here.
But no, no, no you don’t get to stay on the plane if you choose to call them out. I would have ejected him too. Fwiw she was a class act today. That should be expected and not remarkable.”
Goldstein and Lasner, who had evidently made other travel arrangements, were seen at the San Francisco airport just hours later. But when a TMZ photographer approached them to ask about the incident, it appeared that they opposed public harassment after all.