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 Trump’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.”
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. 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
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 23, 2018
Trump lashed out at the Red Hen in a tweet on Monday, insisting that the restaurant is “filthy.”
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. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2018
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.
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