A story that a supporter of Donald Trump invoked the president’s name in an attack on a Muslim airline employee grew more complicated as the alleged assailant’s political giving shows a long history of donations to liberal Democrats.
Robin A. Rhodes, the owner of a Worcester, Massachusetts, company, allegedly hit a door that hit a Delta employee at JFK International Airport, kicked her, and hectored and harassed the hijab-wearing woman on a stopover after a trip to Aruba.
“F— Islam! F— ISIS!” the man said, according to the employee currently on leave after her ordeal. “Trump is here now. He will get rid of all of you. You can ask Germany, Belgium, and France about these kinds of people. You will see what happens.”
Rhodes, arraigned on numerous charges on Thursday, including four hate crimes, faced a $50,000 cash bail.
The he said/she said quickly became a she-said story in major media outlets.
A New York Daily News headline claimed, “Trump-loving passenger arrested for kicking Muslim Delta worker at JFK, shouting ‘f–k Islam, f–k ISIS,’” while the Time headline on an Associated Press account maintains, “Trump Supporter Attacks Muslim Woman at JFK.”
“No election or president gives bigots the right to attack Americans going about their daily business and observing their faith,” Afaf Nasher, an official with New York’s branch of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, declared in a statement responding to the incident.
A Breitbart News perusal of the businessman’s giving to federal campaigns shows thousands of dollars donated to Rep. Jim McGovern, a Worcester Democrat critical of the president, as well as financial support for former Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and former Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island, both liberal Democrats. Rhodes also contributed $1,500 to a Political Action Committee associated with former Senator Scott Brown, a Republican from Massachusetts.
Turtle Boy Sports, a Worcester-area website, broke the story of Rhodes giving to various local politicians opposed to Trump’s agenda, including Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty, a Democrat supported by public-employees unions who reiterated his stance of “welcoming” immigrants, which includes the city’s police force not cooperating on the enforcement of laws pertaining to illegal immigrants, in response to the Trump administration withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities.
“If he’s a successful businessman and an avid Trump supporter, he must’ve donate[d] to Trump’s campaign, or at least to politicians who are like-minded,” Turtle Boy wrote. “Well, turns out he has donated to many campaigns before, but every single person he has donated to has one thing in common – they’ve all publicly disavowed Trump.”