clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Lightfoot: Spitting at Eric Trump ‘repugnant’ because ‘civility matters’

The mayor said she called Eric Trump about the ugly incident Tuesday night at the Aviary.

Eric Trump during an interview on “Fox & Friends” last year.
AP Photos

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Thursday branded as “repugnant” the decision by a Chicago waitress to spit on Eric Trump and said President Donald Trump’s son was “very gracious” not to press charges.

Lightfoot said she “spoke to Eric Trump and checked in with him” about the ugly incident that happened while he was having dinner Tuesday night at the Aviary, a swanky cocktail lounge in Fulton Market.

The mayor used the occasion to denounce the incident that once again exposed the political divide created by the Trump presidency.

“Civility matters. We may not agree. And in my case I don’t agree with a lot of things that President Trump stands for. Our values are different. But you cross the line when you assault someone. You absolutely cross the line when you intentionally target someone for that kind of treatment. No one deserves that. No one,” Lightfoot said.

“This is America. People have a right to have their views — no matter if we agree with them or not. But we cannot countenance people who go out of their way to express themselves in such a repugnant fashion.”

The Aviary issued a statement saying the waitress has been placed on leave because, “No customer should ever be spit upon.”

The mayor hinted strongly that the punishment should have been stronger. The woman was held in custody for two hours before she was released at the direction of Eric Trump, who declined to press charges.

“I hope that the restaurant involved is gonna take appropriate action against this employee,” Lightfoot said.

“Mr. Trump decided that he wasn’t gonna press charges, which I think is very gracious of him under the circumstances. This isn’t about politics. This is about civility. And we have to have that in our city.”

After the incident, Eric Trump told Breitbart News the incident was “purely a disgusting act by somebody who clearly has emotional problems.”

In its statement, the lounge said it now finds itself in the political crosshairs with “hundreds of people … 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 long individual,” the statement said.

“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.”

Nick Kokonas owns The Aviary, 955 W. Fulton Market, as well as Alinea, 1723 N Halsted Stwhich was recently ranked No. 37 on the list of the world’s best eateries.

Kokonas made headlines in January when he invited the NCAA national champion Clemson Tigers football team to Alinea for “an actual celebration dinner” after the president served the players a smorgasbord of fast food when he hosted the team at the White House.