Red Hen owner resigns from Va. business group

The owner of the Lexington, Va., restaurant that made national headlines last week after asking White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave has resigned from a local business organization. 

WSLS-TV in Roanoke reported that Stephanie Wilkinson, who owns the Red Hen restaurant, stepped down from her role on Main Street Lexington, a community business group that seeks to promote Lexington's downtown area.

"Considering the events of the past weekend, Stephanie felt it best that for the continued success of Main Street Lexington, she should step aside," Elizabeth Outland Branner, the organization's president, told WSLS-TV in an email.


Wilkinson and her restaurant have faced criticism in recent days after she asked Sanders and her family to leave her business on Friday.

Wilkinson later told The Washington Post that she asked Sanders to leave because the restaurant employs several LGBT employees, and Sanders's defense of President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE's call to bar transgender people from the military was antithetical to her beliefs. 

Sanders later tweeted about the episode, saying that she was asked to leave because she worked for Trump and that she departed the restaurant "politely."

Trump lashed out at the Red Hen in a tweet on Monday, insisting that the restaurant is "filthy."

The incident sparked many protests and criticism from Trump supporters and even some Democrats.

The Republican Party of Virginia has called for a boycott of the business.