Witness Says 'Agitated' Passenger Removed from JetBlue Flight Didn't Directly Accost Ivanka Trump
A witness who claims to have been on the JetBlue flight where a father was reportedly removed from a flight after allegedly harassing Ivanka Trump says that the man in question did not “scream or yell” at the First daughter-to-be.
“A man got on and got upset about her and her family. He didn’t accost her directly,” Marc Scheff wrote of the incident in a Facebook post. “When he got on and saw her, sitting behind me, he said, ‘Oh my god. This is a nightmare’ and was visibly shaking.”
Senior sources in President-elect Donald Trump‘s transition team reportedly told ABC News that Trump, 35, was flying with her three children out of John F. Kennedy International Airport to Hawaii when the passenger began shouting at them. The man and his family were reportedly removed from the plane.
However, Scheff, who said he sat in the row in front of Trump on the plane, told Reuters that although the passenger was “clearly agitated” he did not “scream or yell.”
Scheff added in the Facebook post that the flight was delayed, prompting the passenger to say, “They ruin our country now they ruin our flight.”
“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,’ ” he wrote.
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, JetBlue officials said the decision to remove a passenger 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,” a spokesperson for the airline said. “In this instance, our team worked to re-accommodate the party on the next available flight.”
The passenger’s identity has not been made public. But in a series of now-deleted tweets, a user named Matthew Lasner allegedly shared a photo of Trump on the flight, writing, “Ivanka just before @JetBlue kicked us off our flight when a flt attendant overheard my husband expressing displeasure about flying w/ Trumps.”
In an earlier tweet, the user allegedly wrote: “Ivanka and [husband Jared Kushner] at JFK T5, flying commercial. My husband chasing them to harass them. #banalityofevil.”
Video footage taken by TMZ appeared to show the passenger along with his family after they landed at San Francisco International Airport on a different flight. The men remained silent as reporters questioned them about the incident.
Trump and her family landed in San Francisco at around 3 p.m. and continued their journey on a private plane, NBC reports. It is unclear whether the private jet was already arranged before the incident.