Stephanie Wilkinson, the co-owner of The Red Hen restaurant, said she decided to kick White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her family out of her Virginia restaurant Friday night over her support of President Trump’s desire to ban transgender people from the military, in particular, explaining that it was antithetical to her beliefs.
Wilkinson told The Washington Post that her restaurant employs several LGBT employees, some of whom voiced concerns over serving Sanders because of her previous comments defending Trump’s proposed ban.
“I’m not a huge fan of confrontation,” Wilkinson added. “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.”
She told the Post Sanders worked in an administration that is “inhumane and unethical” and added that the Trump administration’s policy of separating migrant families who are apprehended illegally entering the U.S. also contributed to her staff’s concerns.
“Tell me what you want me to do. I can ask her to leave,” Wilkinson said she told her staff. “They said yes.”
Sanders responded on Twitter Saturday morning, writing that she would continue to treat people she disagreed with on politics “respectfully.”
“Last night I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, VA to leave because I work for [Trump] and I politely left,” Sanders tweeted.
“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.”
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
Jaike Foley-Schultz, who said he is a waiter at the restaurant, posted on Facebook that he waited on Sanders and her family “for a total of 2 minutes” before Wilkinson asked the party to leave.