CHICAGO — Hours after tweeting about his love for visiting Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago, Eric Trump reportedly said an employee spit on him at West Loop cocktail lounge The Aviary. The president’s son told Breitbart News that the Secret Service briefly took the woman into custody after an incident Tuesday at the restaurant, located at 955 W. Fulton Market. A spokesperson for the Alinea Group, parent company of The Aviary, said the employee has been put on leave but the lounge is now receiving threats and has been the target of fake online reviews.
“It was purely a disgusting act by somebody who clearly has emotional problems,” Eric Trump told the right-wing outlet, putting the blame on Democrats.
“For a party that preaches tolerance, this once again demonstrates they have very little civility,” he said, calling the woman “sick” and saying the incident demonstrates that “we’re winning.”
A spokesperson for the Alinea Group called the altercation “an unfortunate incident,” and said although management did not witness the incident, “What is certain is this: no customer should ever be spit upon. We have not yet spoken with the employee but our HR team has, in the meantime, placed her on leave.”
The company said it will not discuss HR matters beyond its initial statement, but called online backlash over the incident “troubling,” adding, “Hundreds of people are calling for the demise of our business, threatening our employees, and posting fake reviews … they are wrong to do so based on the actions of a lone individual.”
In a statement, the Alinea Group added, “So too, however, are those people wrong who are praising this as an act of civil disobedience. We have voices and the means to be heard. A degrading act lowers the tenor of debate. To some it might feel good, but it is unlikely to serve any larger purpose. We hope this incident can, at least, serve to illuminate the current absurdity of the discourse in our politics. As fellow Americans and citizens, we should all aim higher.”
Chicago Police Department spokesman Anthony Guglielmi declined to comment on the incident, saying only that Chicago officers assisted with a “law enforcement matter” and directed inquiries to the Secret Service.
The woman was reportedly not charged in the incident.
Earlier in the day, Eric Trump tweeted several photos of Chicago’s Trump Tower, saying, “Always love visiting @TrumpChicago! It is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world!” He tweeted again Wednesday morning thanking the staff at Trump Chicago “for the pride you take in our wonderful building.”
Patch has also reached out to the Secret Service for comment on the incident.