An Uber driver refused to take a group of interns holding “Make America Great Again” hats to the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
Matthew Handy, an intern for Rep. Mike Bost, R-Ill., told the Washington Examiner he and three other congressional interns hailed an Uber on Tuesday night near George Washington University, having ordered it to take them to a monthly gathering of Trump supporters at the Old Post Office.
Handy was purposely holding his red hat emblazoned with President Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan in his hand as to not “impose” his beliefs on the driver when he took his seat behind him, he said on Thursday.
Handy had yet to close the door when the driver allegedly asked him whether he and one other intern had “Make American Great Again” hats.
“He then said ‘I can’t do the ride,'” Handy said of the driver after the two interns confirmed that they were.
Handy recounted that his first reaction was to laugh because last time he was questioned by an Uber driver about his “Make American Great Again” hat the man had been joking.
“We asked whether he was being serious right now and he said ‘Please get out of my car,'” Handy said, describing the driver’s behavior as “rude” but not threatening.
“I am more disappointed that I can’t hold my political beliefs without being scrutinized, being singled out, and being downright disrespected,” he continued.
Elijah Allison, an intern for Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., who was also holding a “Make America Great Again” hat, corroborated Handy’s story.
Bost on Thursday replied to Handy’s tweet about the incident, attesting to his intern’s character.
“It’s an absolute shame that the political climate has become so toxic and that incidents like this are becoming all too common,” he wrote on Twitter.
.@Matthew_Handy is an incredibly respectful & polite young man who I am grateful to have as an intern in my office this summer. It’s an absolute shame that the political climate has become so toxic and that incidents like this are becoming all too common. #NationalDayofCivility https://t.co/foLQRhMRp4
— Rep. Mike Bost (@RepBost) July 12, 2018
Uber told the Washington Examiner on Thursday it was investigating the situation.
“We aim to provide a reliable service to everyone who uses Uber. We have reached out to both the rider and the driver, and continue to look into this,” a spokeswoman for the ride-sharing and food-delivery company wrote in a statement.
Handy, who wasn’t charged for the trip, added he wanted an apology and for the driver to be banned from using the Uber app to pick up passengers.