Sarah Sanders responds to Red Hen restaurant controversy

During Monday's press briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to her being asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, on Friday. "Healthy debate on ideas and political philosophy is important, but the calls for harassment and push for any Trump supporter to avoid the public is unacceptable," she said.


"Healthy debate on ideas and political philosophy is important, but the calls for harassment and push for any Trump supporter to avoid the public is unacceptable," Sanders told reporters at the top of Monday's White House press briefing. "America is a great country and our ability to find solutions despite those disagreements is what makes us unique."

The Shenandoah Valley farm-to-table restaurant asked Sanders and her family to leave because she works for President Trump.

The Sanders party was in the middle of the cheese course when owner Stephanie Wilkinson asked Sanders to leave. Sanders offered to pay, but Wikinson told The Washington Post that the appetizer was on the house. In spite of the uproar caused by the incident, Wilkinson told the Post she does not regret her decision.

"I would have done the same thing again," she said. "We just felt there are moments in time when people need to live their convictions. This appeared to be one."

Saturday morning, Sanders tweeted about the incident.

"Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left," she said. "Her actions say far more about her than about me. I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so."

The co-owner of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, says she has no regrets about asking White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave in a controversial incident over the weekend.

Stephanie Wilkinson tells the Washington Post that her business has thrived for 10 years because she’s kept politics off the menu in a town that has been deeply divided over political issues. But when President Donald Trump‘s press secretary came into the Red Hen with her family on Friday evening, Wilkinson says she felt compelled to take a stand.

“I’m not a huge fan of confrontation,” Wilkinson said. “I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”

Wilkinson explains that her staff initially seated Sanders and her family and served them cheese plates before the chef called Wilkinson for advice on how to proceed.

Wilkinson, who was at home that evening, came into the restaurant and talked the issue over with her staff. She says they all objected to Sanders’ defense of Trump’s since-reversed child separation policy and his desire to ban transgender people from the military. Wilkinson says she personally believes that Sanders works for an “inhumane and unethical” administration and defends the president’s cruelest policies.

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