Sarah Huckabee Sanders, 35, White House Press Secretary to President Donald Trump, 72, took to Twitter on June 23, 2018 to share an incident that took place at The Red Hen, a 26-seat farm-to-table restaurant. She said the owner of the restaurant asked her to leave because she works for the White House.
The tweet immediately went viral. On June 25, 2018, Trump also took to Twitter to defend Sanders and attack The Red Hen calling the restaurant dirty inside and out.
The Red Hen is located in Lexington, an independent city and the country seat of Rockbridge County, Virginia. According to state inspection records, the restaurant received a clean bill of health on February 6, 2018.
Also on June 25, 2018, The Red Hen co-owner Stephanie Wilkinson explained to the Washington Post her decision to ask Sanders to leave the restaurant. She knew that while Rockbridge County voted overwhelmingly for Trump, Lexington did the opposite.
“I’m not a huge fan of confrontation,” Wilkinson told the publication. “I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”
Wearing a black dress, the White House Press Secretary was with her husband Bryan Chatfield Sanders, 47, at the time along with six or seven more people, according to Wilkinson. The Red Hen co-owner said she only asked Sarah to leave abut allowed the others to stay but the companions also decided to leave.
Wilkinson noted that several The Red Hen employees are gay and she does not support Trump’s plan to ban transgender from the military. She is also not supportive of how Sarah defended a policy by Trump that separated migrant children from their parents.
While the incident has polarized Americans, Wilkinson said she and Sarah were polite to each other when the latter agreed to leave the restaurant as requested by the former. Unfortunately for restaurants whose names are similar to The Red Hen, they are being attacked by furious supporters of Trump and Sanders.