On Tuesday, June 25, a waitress spit on President Donald Trump's son Eric while he drank at The Aviary, a Chicago bar. According to the Chicago Sun Times. the woman, who has not been identified, was detained by members of Trump's Secret Service detail, but was later released after the 35-year-old businessman declined to press charges.
Yet although Trump decided not to take legal action, he didn't hesitate to complain about the incident to the far-right media outlet Breitbart News, where he implied that the waitress was a Democrat and as such, representative of that political party. "It was purely a disgusting act by somebody who clearly has emotional problems,” Trump told the publication. “For a party that preaches tolerance, this once again demonstrates they have very little civility."
The Sun Times reported that according to one onlooker at the scene, an employee could be heard exclaiming: “Oh my god, she spit on him,” right before a swarm of Secret Service agents surrounded Trump. Following the incident, the waitress was put on leave, according to a statement released by The Aviary on Wednesday morning.
"We did not witness the incident and we are just beginning to learn the details," read the statement in part. "We have not yet spoken with the employee but our HR team has, in the meantime, placed her on leave."
The incident isn't the first time The Aviary has been associated with the Trump administration. Back in January, one of the bar's co-owners, Nick Kokonas, gained media attention when he offered the Clemson Tigers, the national college football champions, "an actual celebration dinner" after the president infamously served the team fast food at the White House. The Eric Trump debacle, however, is garnering the bar far more recognition.
Despite the waitress' motive for spitting on Trump being currently unclear, many people are naturally theorizing that it was in response to one or several of the Trump administration's recent actions, from caging migrant children to threatening war with Iran to denying yet another accusation of sexual assault against the president. As such, the unknown woman has, unsurprisingly, already found a large group of supporters cheering her on for spitting on Eric Trump.
Still, not everyone shares that reaction, including The Aviary. "No customer should ever be spit upon," read the statement, which noted that while the people calling for the bar to close because of "the actions of a lone individual" are in the wrong, so are the people "who are praising this as an act of civil disobedience."
"A degrading act lowers the tenor of debate," the statement continued. "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."
Well, that's not what Eric Trump is doing with his response to the incident. "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," he told Breitbart.
Getting spit on at a bar hasn't historically been associated with winning, but hey, Trump can think what he wants.