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story.lead_photo.caption Passersby gather to take photos in front of the Red Hen Restaurant, Saturday, June 23, 2018, in Lexington, Va. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Saturday in a tweet that she was booted from the Virginia restaurant because she works for President Donald Trump. Sanders said she was told by the owner of The Red Hen that she had to "leave because I work for @POTUS and I politely left." (AP Photo/Daniel Lin)

WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump on Monday trash-talked a Virginia restaurant that asked his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to leave because she worked for his administration.

Trump, in a Monday morning tweet, said that The Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Va., "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."

"I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!" added Trump, an admitted germophobe, who has said he prefers eating at fast-food chains rather than independent eateries because he trusts them more.

Photographs of the restaurant, a three-hour-drive from Washington, appear to show no evidence of serious disrepair to the red building with hunter green awnings and white doors and trim, though recent images appear to show some awning wear.

The restaurant's most recent health inspection, reported by the local news site Patch and available online, includes no record of violations. Inspectors noted "good food/unit temperatures," said staff had clean uniforms and aprons, and observed "excellent job on code-dating."

Sanders tweeted over the weekend that she was asked to leave the restaurant by its owner Friday evening because she worked for Trump. Sanders said she "politely left" and that the owner's "actions say far more about her than about me."

"Healthy debate on ideas and political philosophy is important," she told reporters at a White House briefing Monday. "But the calls for harassment and push for any Trump supporter to avoid the public is unacceptable."

The restaurant's co-owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday, but she told The Washington Post that her reasons for booting Sanders included the concerns of employees who were gay and knew Sanders had defended Trump's desire to bar transgender people from serving in the military.

Several other Trump administration officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, have been confronted in public in recent days amid intense fury over an administration policy that led to an increase in the number of migrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border illegally.

Nielsen cut short a working dinner at a Mexican restaurant last week after protesters shouted, "Shame!" until she left. Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller was accosted by someone at a different Mexican restaurant, who called him "a fascist," according to the New York Post.

The displays of hostility have set off a fierce debate about whether politics should play a role in how administration officials are treated in public, with Sanders's father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, denouncing his daughter's treatment as "bigotry."

Sarah Huckabee Sanders added: "We are allowed to disagree, but we should be able to do so freely and without fear of harm. And this goes for all people regardless of politics."

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  • dildel
    June 25, 2018 at 9:39 a.m.

    Real mature, this coward in the WH.

  • lazyman
    June 25, 2018 at 9:46 a.m.

    To dildel: What? The actions in this article speak way more about the actions of the left than on anyone in the WH. Everyone needs to get a grip. These situations are getting out of hand. We must be able to have differences of opinion and have conversations, but people on the right and left prefer to shout each other down.

  • JakeTidmore
    June 25, 2018 at 10:24 a.m.

    Elect an internet troll president and this kind of stuff happens....

  • DoubleBlind
    June 25, 2018 at 10:34 a.m.

    Lazy - Trump set the tone for things like this to happen way back during the campaign when he said he could shoot someone and get away with it, as well as encouraging rally attendees to attack protestors. He doubled down last year when he hailed attendees at the alt-right rally in Charlottesville who KILLED a protester. Unless and until he tells everyone to get a grip - and gets one himself - this will continue and escalate. Every world ‘leader’ he admires is a dictator who kills his own citizens (Putin, Kim, Assad, Duterte, etc.) when they push back. That’s the model to which Trump aspires.

  • DoubleBlind
    June 25, 2018 at 10:59 a.m.

    Even FLOTUS stepped in it again just yesterday. She addressed a SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) event in DC and urged “kindness, compassion and positivity”...3days after wearing the ‘FU’ jacket to the border. Those two are made for each other.

  • RBear
    June 25, 2018 at 11:30 a.m.

    lazy, Trump tweeted the Red Hen "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." That sounds more like a teenager than a president instead of a conversation. So, if anyone needs to "get a grip" it might be the idiot in the WH.
    You know, when I look at the HUNDREDS of public officials who act and respond with the demeanor of adults. However, Trump can't seem to act with any level of decorum fitting the WH. The staff at the Red Hen responded in the same manner they have witnessed coming out of the WH. What did the American public get in response? A juvenile attack tweet back at the restaurant.
    Was it right for the Red Hen to ask SHS to leave? No, but it's also not right for Trump to attack in such a manner. Quite frankly, I don't think he knows how to respond. His tweets show periods of instability all the time.

  • Packman
    June 25, 2018 at 11:45 a.m.

    Not sure if it's "bigotry" as much as a$$holes just being a$$holes.
    Sadly, it's only a matter of time before these leftist acts of resistance turn violent. Rigging the election didn't work. Access Hollywood tape didn't work. FBI and DOJ officials trying to overturn election results didn't work. Russia didn't work. BLM and "Trump's a Racist" didn't work. Trump and the NRA kills kids didn't work. Stormy Daniels didn't work. Faux outrage over enforcing immigration laws didn't work. Nothing has worked. To the contrary, President Trump's approval ratings have improved. The only thing they have left is violence. Sadly, it's only a matter of time.

  • Delta123
    June 25, 2018 at 11:59 a.m.


  • RBear
    June 25, 2018 at 12:01 p.m.

    Pack more false hypotheticals. I'll say this, either side could turn violent and your side seems to like to pack heat. Hmmm.

  • mozarky2
    June 25, 2018 at 1:07 p.m.

    Yeah, how well I remember that Trump supporter who opened fire at the congressional ball practice wounding Steven Scalise...oh, wait...