The JetBlue passenger who confronted Ivanka Trump on a flight is a Jewish lawyer from Brooklyn who was traveling with his husband and child.
“Your father is ruining the country,” lawyer Daniel Jennings Goldstein snapped at the future first daughter as he boarded the morning flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
“Oh my God, this is a nightmare,” a witness quoted Goldstein as saying, the New York Daily News reported “They ruin the country and now they ruin our flight.”
“Why is she on our flight?” Goldstein added. “She should be flying private.”
JetBlue personnel then escorted Goldstein off the flight.
Goldstein’s husband, identified as Hunter College professor Matthew Lasner, insisted Goldstein did nothing to warrant being booted from the flight.
Lasner tweeted at the time: “My husband expressed his displeasure in a calm tone, JetBlue staff overheard, and they kicked us off the plane.”
But just an hour earlier, Lasner admitted that Goldstein was intent on “harrass(ing)” Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, the Daily Mail reported. Lasner took to Twitter to declare: “Ivanka and Jared at JFK T5, flying commercial. My husband chasing them down to harass them. #banalityofevil.”
“The decision to remove a customer from a flight is not taken lightly,” JetBlue said in a statement.
Passenger Marc Scheff sat in front of Ivanka Trump on the flight. In a Facebook post, he wrote that the flight was delayed because the Trump and Kushner boarded first. Scheff wrote that Goldstein “didn’t accost [Ivanka] directly.”
“He did not yell,” Scheff added. “He was also not what I would describe as calm. Agitated maybe. His husband behind him was very calm. His son is adorable and sharply dressed.”
Goldstein is an employment lawyer in Brooklyn and graduated from Wesleyan University and from UCLA School of Law.
Goldstein reportedly worked for the U.S. Mint in San Francisco until 2012.
The couple bought a 1,100-square-foot apartment on Brooklyn’s Columbia Heights waterfront in 2013.
According to his Twitter page, Lasner is a professor of urban studies and planning at Hunter College. He is a Harvard graduate and the author of a number of books, including “High Life: Condo Living in the Suburban Century.”
Lasner is an outspoken advocate of liberal causes. He marched against Donald Trump and called him a fascist.
He has also referred to “American apartheid” in his tweets about equal housing.
Lasner deactivated his Twitter account Thursday after the storm erupted.
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Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.