June 23, 2018 / 11:08 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-White House press secretary says asked to leave restaurant for working for Trump

(Adds comment from Red Hen owner in paragraphs 4,5)

WASHINGTON, June 23 (Reuters) - White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Saturday that she had been asked to leave a Virginia restaurant the night before because she worked for U.S. President Donald Trump.

“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,” Sanders said on the official Press Secretary Twitter account.

On Saturday, the owner of the Red Hen confirmed the incident and said she stood by her decision to refuse service to Sanders, the Washington Post reported.

“Absolutely, yes,” the paper reported Stephanie Wilkinson as saying. “We just felt there are moments in time when people need to live their convictions.”

Wilkinson and the Red Hen could not be reached by phone on Saturday evening. Several thousand people have posted messages of support and criticism of the restaurant for the move on its Yelp page.

Earlier this week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was confronted by protesters at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C. Protesters yelled “Shame! Shame!” and it came as the Trump administration defended its hardline immigration policy at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Nielsen decided to leave the restaurant. (Reporting by Idrees Ali and David Brunnstrom; editing by Diane Craft)

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