The owner of the Red Hen in Virginia who asked White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to leave is speaking out on why she made the request.
Speaking to The Washington Post, Red Hen owner Stephanie Wilkinson said she was actually home when she got a phone call informing her that Sanders had walked into her small, farm-to-table restaurant.
“[The chef] said the staff is a little concerned. What should we do?” Wilkinson told WaPo. “I said I’d be down to see if it’s true.”
Wilkinson also said she had her doubts that Sanders would actually be in a restaurant in her small, rural town but once arriving, she confirmed it was true and Sanders was indeed seated at a group table with other adults.
She then huddled with the staff, many who took issue with the White House on a number of issues and some who are gay, and asked them if they thought Sanders should go.
They did, so she asked Sanders to accompany her to the patio.
“I was babbling a little, but I got my point across in a polite and direct fashion,” Wilkinson said. “I explained that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation…I said, ‘I’d like to ask you to leave.’ ”
Sanders, who Wilkinson did confirm left without a huff, told her side of the story on Twitter later, a move that, according for former Ethics head Walter Shaub may have actually violated ethics rules:
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
Wilkinson is not sure what all the ruckus surrounding Sanders’ visit will mean for her restaurant.
Already, she has been yelp-bombed by reviewers, many from out of state, writing reviews such as “Despicable and outlandish behavior. The only thing served here … if they agree to serve you … is a heaping plate of arrogance and hypocrisy.”
Still, Wilkinson made it clear that she would do it again.
“Absolutely, yes, I would have done the same thing again,” the Red Hen owner said. “We just felt there are moments in time when people need to live their convictions. This appeared to be one.”
[image via screengrab]
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