WASHINGTON — Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said she was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant Friday night because of her work in the Trump administration, becoming the latest official to be singled out for her support of the president’s policies.
After the owner of the restaurant, the Red Hen in Lexington, suggested she leave, Ms. Sanders tweeted on Saturday, she complied.
The woman’s actions “say far more about her than about me,” Ms. Sanders said. “I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.” A person who identified as a waiter at the restaurant said in a Facebook post that Ms. Sanders had been accompanied by seven other guests.
The restaurant did not respond to phone calls, and its website appeared to have crashed Saturday morning as reports of the episode began circulating.
The encounter is the third time this past week in which a Trump administration official was confronted over his or her political stance.
As tensions continued to escalate over the White House’s child-separation policy, Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of homeland security, was heckled on Tuesday night while dining at a Mexican restaurant. “If kids don’t eat in peace, you don’t eat in peace,” demonstrators shouted, according to video of the confrontation shared on social media.
And Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to the president known for his hard-line stance on immigration, was described as a “fascist” by a protester on Sunday, also while at a Mexican restaurant, The New York Post reported.
While the administration struggles to reunite the families amid outrage over images and audio recordings of sobbing children taken away from their parents, the divisive messaging on both sides of the debate has intensified.
Within hours, the restaurant’s review pages online painted a stark picture of the divide: Some people left glowing reviews for the farm-to-table restaurant from halfway across the country, and others denounced the political choices of the owner.
“The best,” one reviewer wrote on Yelp, leaving five stars. “I’ve heard that they serve crow to those deserving of it.”
“Pathetic,” the next review read. “How dare you use politics to discriminate. Seems you will be the actual loser in this case, once the reviews really sink in. Good luck, pal.”