Politics

Actor Blames Trump For United Airlines Debacle

| by Michael Howard

Actor John Cho has suggested that President Donald Trump bears responsibility for the United Airlines incident in which a man was injured while being forcibly removed from an overbooked flight.

The "Harold & Kumar" star made the comment on Twitter on April 10.

"It's hard not to see a connection between the environment Trump has created and what happened on that [United] flight," he wrote.

Cho's tweet was retweeted and liked more than 8,000 times each, but not everyone was on board with his assessment.

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"I hope you stretched before trying to reach so hard on this tweet," one user commented.

"Nope! He pulled a hamstring and is sadly in excruciating pain," another responded.

Radio personality Chad Dukes tweeted at Cho: "What on EARTH are you talking about?"

"So Trump is responsible for the actions of a United Airlines decision and the actions of a Chicago (run by Democrats) police officer?" Bob Owens, editor of Bearing Arms, wrote. "RLY?"

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David Dao, the 69-year-old man who was dragged from the flight by Chicago aviation security staff, sustained several injuries during the struggle. He was hospitalized with a concussion, broken nose, damaged sinuses and the loss of two teeth, according to USA Today.

Dao's attorney, Thomas Demetrio, said a lawsuit is forthcoming.

"Dr. Dao, I believe to his great credit, has come to understand that he is the guy, the guy to stand up for all passengers going forward," Demetrio said at a news conference, adding that a hearing on preserving evidence from the scene is set for April 17.

He said that while he accepts United CEO Oscar Munoz's apology, he believes it was mostly self-serving.

"I think his [Munoz's] PR people said, 'We're taking a beating here,'" Demetrio speculated. "I think he was told to get out there."

Speaking at the same news conference, Dao's daughter, Crystal Pepper, said her family was "horrified, shocked and sickened" by what took place.

"What happened to my dad should never have happened to any human being, regardless of the circumstances," she said.

According to United spokesman Jonathan Guerin, four of the 70 passengers on the plane were asked to leave in order to make room for crew members who were needed the following day in Louisville. After no passengers volunteered to leave, the airline selected four people based on a variety of factors, including frequent-flier status and connecting flight considerations.

 When Dao refused to get up -- explaining that he was a doctor and had to see patients in the morning -- three security officers boarded the plane. They spoke with him briefly before physically removing him from his seat and dragging him off the aircraft. Cell phone videos showed that Dao had been bloodied during the struggle.

The incident provoked widespread outrage and caused a PR disaster for United. USA Today reports that the airline's stock fell dramatically as a result, costing the company $250 million in value.

Sources: John Cho/Twitter, USA Today / Photo Credit: Raimond Spekking via Wikimedia Commons

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