'I Don't Want to Make This a Thing': Passenger Overhears Ivanka Trump After Incident on JetBlue JFK to SFO Flight - NBC Bay Area
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'I Don't Want to Make This a Thing': Passenger Overhears Ivanka Trump After Incident on JetBlue JFK to SFO Flight

Ivanka Trump and her family were on their way to Hawaii for a holiday vacation

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    'I Don't Want to Make This a Thing': Passenger Overhears Ivanka Trump After Incident on JetBlue JFK to SFO Flight
    NBC Bay Area
    Ivanka Trump exits a JetBlue flight at San Francisco International Airport and heads to a private chartered plane to Hawaii. Dec. 22, 2016

    As the attention was focused on a gay couple and their child who got kicked off a JetBlue flight Thursday after a tense monologue was directed at Ivanka Trump, one passenger said the soon-to-be First Daughter played it pretty cool.

    "I heard her say to the JetBlue personnel, 'I don't want to make this a thing,'" Marc Scheff, a passenger on the flight told a bank of reporters when the plane landed at San Francisco International Airport later that day.

    Scheff, an artist from Brooklyn, had been sitting one seat ahead of Trump with his young son on the flight. While no Donald Trump fan himself, Scheff said he felt Ivanka Trump handled the situation "calmly and with class."

    Ivanka Trump and her "clan of about 20," Scheff described, quickly scurried off to a private plane at SFO to make it from John F. Kennedy airport to a holiday vacation. NBC Bay Area's cameras captured that transfer.

     

    But before the Trump's departure, Scheff detailed what he saw happening just 15 inches behind him on the plane while in New York. A man, whom the New York Daily News described as Brooklyn attorney Dan Goldstein, had gone up to Ivanka Trump, wearing a casual gray sweatshirt, while "shaking and obviously agitated," Scheff said.

    "But he wasn't yelling," Scheff told the reporters. "He said, 'They've ruined our country and now they've ruined our flight. But he didn't directly speak to her." From his vantage point, Scheff said he didn't feel the man was accosting Ivanka Trump. But the boarding was delayed to wait for the Trump family to get in their seats. It's still unclear why the Trumps were flying the low-cost airline, and in coach no-less.

    Scheff added that if he was JetBlue security, "I wouldn't have taken a chance, either."

    Efforts to reach Goldstein and his husband, CUNY Hunter College professor Matthew Lasner, were unsuccessful.

    Lasner, who won a 2013 prize for his book, "High Life: Condo Living in The Suburban Century," tweeted before the flight took off that his husband went to "harass" Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.

    Lasner subsequently deleted his tweets and his Twitter account, but screengrabs of the tweets were passed around on social media. Lasner immediately became a target of hateful sentiment from many on the right, who called him a "liberal coward" and a "douche bag." People found his photo, phone number and school email and publicized it widely.

    Former CNN host, Piers Morgan, tweeted: "Harassing a mother with her two young children. Shame on you & your husband @mattlasner, you pathetic people."

    JetBlue put Lasner, his husband and their son another flight.

    JetBlue said in a statement that 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."

    A representative for Ivanka Trump declined to comment on the exchange.

    As for his feelings, Scheff made it clear he is not in favor of Trump tweeting about expanding nuclear arsenal or his attitude toward women. Still, Scheff wrote that he thinks it's also not right to stoke the same fear the president-elect has among many minorities in this country.

    "No, you don't get to stay on the plane if you choose to take a stand and harass (people)," Scheff wrote. "I would have ejected him, too."