During an evening out in Chicago on Tuesday, apparently a cocktail bar employee spit on Eric Trump, the president's son and an executive at the Trump Organization. The employee was reportedly taken into Secret Service custody after the incident, a reporter from NBC5 News Chicago indicated on Twitter.
According to Mary Ann Ahern of NBC5 Chicago, Eric was at the Aviary, an upscale bar known for its elaborate cocktails, when one of its employees spit in his face, the president's son claimed. Eric commented on the occurrence during an interview with the conservative Breitbart News on Tuesday evening.
"It was purely a disgusting act by somebody who clearly has emotional problems,” Eric told the outlet. “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.”
The employee has not been named and has not commented publicly on Eric's claim.
As the Chicago Tribune reported, the Secret Service hasn't confirmed any information about what occurred on Tuesday evening. However, the Chicago Police Department's chief communications officer wrote on Twitter that "CPD was on scene [at the Aviary] and assisting the United States Secret Service with a law enforcement matter." The department's communications officer also indicated that "any and all inquiries regarding a federal protectee must be directed to the Secret Service."
The New York Times reported that an official at the Trump Organization said that the Aviary employee was taken into custody for around two hours on Tuesday evening. The official added that the employee was released after Eric decided not to press charges, the paper reported. The New York Times also noted that a spokesperson for the United States attorney’s office in Chicago said that federal charges stemming from the incident are not expected.
This isn't the first time that members of Trump's inner circle have encountered pushback while dining out. For example, in June 2018, the owner of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia asked Trump administration press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave the establishment after some of her employees expressed discomfort with Sanders' presence, the Washington Post reported.
“I’m not a huge fan of confrontation,” Stephanie Wilkinson, the Red Hen's owner, said to the newspaper when discussing the incident in June 2018. “[But] I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”
In June 2018 as well, former Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen left a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C. after protesters confronted her about the Trump administration's separation of children from their families at the southern border, the New York Times reported. "If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace,” the protesters chanted at Nielsen before she left, per video footage of the occurrence.
Overall, Eric's experience at the Aviary seems to be the latest in a series of confrontations with Trump-affiliated individuals that have taken place at dining establishments since Trump became president. For his part, Eric has not commented further on the matter since his interview with Breitbart on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning, he took to Twitter to briefly comment on his Chicago visit and his family's property in the city, writing, "Always love visiting @TrumpChicago! It is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world! ... "