Sunday, June 24, 2018
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was booted from a Virginia restaurant because she works for President Donald Trump, the latest administration official to experience a brusque reception in a public setting.
Sanders tweeted that she was told by the owner of the Red Hen in Lexington, Va., that she had to “leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left.” She said the episode Friday evening said far more about the owner of the restaurant than it did about her.
“I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so,” Sanders said in the tweet from her official account, which generated 22,000 replies in about an hour.
The restaurant’s co-owner Stephanie Wilkinson told The Washington Post that her staff had called her to report Sanders was in the restaurant. She cited several reasons, including the concerns of several restaurant employees who were gay and knew Sanders had defended Trump’s desire to bar transgender people from the military.
“Tell me what you want me to do. I can ask her to leave,” Wilkinson told her staff, she said. “They said yes.”
Wilkinson said that she talked to Sanders privately and that Sanders’s response was immediate: “That’s fine. I’ll go.”
Employees at the restaurant told The Associated Press that Wilkinson wasn’t available for further comment.