DOWNTOWN — A Chicago woman traveling by Amtrak to Seattle Friday told DNAinfo she was forced to remove a button with a political slogan before she was allowed to board her train.
Amtrak has since apologized to Melissa Stone, who said an Amtrak sleeping car attendant asked her to remove her small white button that read "Love Trumps Hate," a slogan used by former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and others who oppose President Donald Trump and his policies.
Stone and her partner, Chase McClure, said they initially thought the female employee was joking when she asked Stone to remove the pin. But the attendant insisted that Stone remove the pin before boarding the No. 7 Empire Builder train from Chicago to Seattle scheduled to depart at 2:15 p.m. Friday, Stone said.
"When she said it I was stunned and thought she misunderstood the pin," McClure told DNAinfo. "She explained that this is policy from Amtrak to the attendants to prevent friction between passengers."
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari said officials had reached out to Stone and apologized for the incident. He said an employee misunderstood the railway's policy prohibiting passengers from being disruptive.
McClure and Stone had long planned to travel to Seattle to celebrate their 10th anniversary by visiting locations where the television show "Twin Peaks" was filmed.
The incident left the pair feeling "awfully unwelcome" on the 45-hour train ride.
On Facebook, McClure said he would have been "just as mad" if another passenger had been asked to remove a Trump-related accessory, such as a red "Make America Great Again" hat.
Magliari declined to say whether the employee involved in the incident would face discipline.