In a bar in Chicago Tuesday evening, a woman believed to be an employee of the establishment spit in the face of President Trump's son Eric Trump and was promptly detained by U.S. Secret Service. The "disgusting act," said Eric Trump, "just emphasizes a sickness and desperation and the fact that we’re winning." Meanwhile, critics of Trump are celebrating the gross act of disrespect.
According to Breitbart News, who spoke with Trump after the incident, "sources familiar with the matter" said that the president's son was at the upscale lounge Aviary with a group of people when an employee of the bar, described as a "young woman," walked up to Trump and spit in his face.
Secret Service sprang to action and took the bar employee into custody. "She was put in handcuffs and placed in a police paddy wagon, a source with knowledge said," Breitbart reports. "Eric Trump decided not to press charges against the woman in the end, and she was released from police custody."
"It was purely a disgusting act by somebody who clearly has emotional problems," Trump told Breitbart in a phone interview that evening. "For a party that preaches tolerance, this once again demonstrates they have very little civility. When somebody is sick enough to resort to spitting on someone, it just emphasizes a sickness and desperation and the fact that we’re winning."
NBC News Chicago's Mary Ann Ahern first reported the incident in a series of posts on Twitter. "Hearing of incident at Aviary tonight, an employee allegedly spit on son of [Donald Trump] who is visiting Chicago, offender now in US Secret Service custody," wrote Ahern. "Police presence outside Aviary after alleged incident between an employee and Eric Trump around 8:30pm," she wrote along with a photo of the police vehicle.
In response to her last tweet, Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi provided more details: "CPD was on scene and assisting the United States Secret Service with a law enforcement matter. Any and all inquiries regarding a federal protectee must be directed to the Secret Service."
In response to the news, many online critics of Trump — including several blue checks, as Twitchy notes — are celebrating the gross act of disrespect. "I’m a parent of three and I would support them spitting on Eric Trump," wrote one blue check. "We went from heckling Eric Trump tp spitting on him in two and a half years. Don’t tell me progress isn’t possible," wrote another.
The targeting of Trump's inner circle in public places has been common over the last two years. One of the moments that got the most attention occurred in June 2018 at the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, where the owner of the restaurant told White House Press Sec. Sarah Sanders, who was there with her family, to leave, a move that sparked a protest.
"I have a business, and I want the business to thrive," the owner told The Washington Post. "This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals." She explained that several of her employees who are gay told her they were upset about Trump's call for banning transgender people in the military. At their behest, she told Sanders that "the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation. I said, 'I'd like to ask you to leave,'" she said. She also admitted that Sanders responded respectfully and even offered to pay for the food being prepared but yet to be delivered.
But Sanders' father, Mike Huckabee, said that the owner failed to give the full story. "There’s a part of that story that has not been told," Huckabee told Laura Ingraham. "Once Sarah and her family left — of course Sarah was asked to please vacate — Sarah and her husband just went home, they’d had enough. But, the rest of her family went across the street to a different restaurant. The owner of the Red Hen — nobody’s told this — then followed them across the street, called people and organized a protest, yelling and screaming at them from outside the other restaurant and creating this scene."
The actions of the owner prompted a rather wild protest of the restaurant and the backlash compelled the owner to resign from her role of director of a local non-profit group focused on promoting businesses in the city. It also inspired a rebuke from President Trump. "The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!" he tweeted.