Sanders: Harassment of Trump supporters ‘unacceptable’

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday pushed for respectful political discourse in the aftermath of her dismissal from a Virginia restaurant over the weekend. 

Sanders addressed the incident at the start of Monday’s press briefing, saying she and her husband “politely left” The Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Va., after she said she was asked to leave “because I work for President Trump.” 

“We are allowed to disagree but we should be able to do so freely and without fear of harm,” she said. “And this goes for all people regardless of politics.”


“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.

“America is a great country and our ability to find solutions despite those disagreements is what makes us unique,” she added before launching into a list of President Trump’s accomplishments.

Sanders was asked to leave The Red Hen on Friday night before she was served.

Stephanie Wilkinson, The Red Hen’s co-owner, said Sanders’s support of the Trump administration’s policies banning transgender people from the military and separating families at the border was at the heart of her decision.

Sanders acknowledged the incident via her government Twitter account, writing that the manager’s actions “say far more about her than about me.” 

She said Monday she used her official account because she was responding to “news of the day.”

The incident has since prompted a broader conversation about civility in politics and the treatment of Trump administration officials.

Some Democrats argued the restaurant should have served Sanders, but Rep. Maxine Walters (D-Calif.) escalated tensions when she encouraged supporters to harass Trump administration officials in public places.

The president has seized on the controversy, attacking Waters as “low IQ” and using his personal account to suggest the Red Hen is dirty.

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