The Virginia restaurant owner who kicked out White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders because of her association with the Trump administration’s policies didn’t stop her political activism after Sanders and her family left, according to Sanders father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Huckabee told Laura Ingraham on her radio show Monday that Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of The Red Hen in Lexington, followed family members to a restaurant across the street Friday night, where she organized a protest.
Huckabee explained that his daughter and her husband went home after they were kicked out of The Red Hen – “they had had enough” – but the rest of the accompanying family members went across the street to a different restaurant.
“The owner of The Red Hen then followed them across the street, called people and organized a protest, yelling and screaming at them from outside the other restaurant and creating this scene,” he told Ingraham.
Huckabee noted that most of her husband’s family members – not her parents in-law – are “liberal,” and “one of them walked out and said, ‘Look, I don’t like Trump. I’m not a supporter, I’m considered liberal, but you guys are embarrassing me, and you’re not helping the cause.”
The family member pointed out that Sarah Sanders wasn’t even present.
“This is what the left has been reduced to,” Huckabee said. “It’s really tragic. And it is dangerous.”
Democrats and establishment media have been fiercely protesting a policy in effect under the Obama administration that requires children to be temporarily separated from parents who are being prosecuted for crossing the U.S. border illegally. Trump issued an executive order last week to ensure the children stay with their families while urging Congress to come up with a permanent solution.
‘The restaurant has certain standards’
Ingraham cited news reports saying Wilkinson decided to boot Sanders from her restaurant after taking a vote of employees, some of whom are gay.
Wilkinson said she asked Sanders and her husband to step outside after they already had started eating appetizers.
“I was babbling a little, but I got my point across in a polite and direct fashion,” Wilkinson said. “I explained that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion and cooperation.
“I said, ‘I’d like to ask you to leave.’ ”
Wilkinson said he didn’t know how Sanders would react.
According to the restaurant owner, Sanders immediately responded, “That’s fine. I’ll go.”
Trump: Restaurant ‘badly needs a paint job’
On Monday, Trump reacted to Sanders’ expulsion in a tweet.
“The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders,” Trump wrote.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was heckled at a Mexican restaurant in Washington last Tuesday night. On Friday, the progressive group CREDO Action organized a protest outside Nielsen’s home, playing audio of crying immigrant children while chanting “No justice, no sleep!” Fox News reported the protesters shouted at the DHS secretary as she walked from her home to her car.
The acting deputy secretary of homeland security, meanwhile, warned employees Saturday that “there may be a heightened threat” against them, according to a memo obtained by CBS News.
On Saturday, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., called for more harassment of Trump administration officials in public spaces in response to the Republican administration’s immigration policy.
Waters, declaring “God is on our side,” urged supporters to step up resistance to Trump, claiming the president is “sacrificing our children.”
Vowing to “win this battle,” she urged supporters: “If you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. Tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere!”
Fellow Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, rebuked Waters in a tweet, saying Trump’s “daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable.”