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Bernie Sanders Thinks Trump Officials Deserve to Eat Their Restaurant Meals in Peace

The Senator says people should “take that anger out in a constructive way”

Bernie Sanders Meets With Al Sharpton In New York Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Noted finger-wagger, former Democratic presidential candidate, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders doesn’t support the argument that members of the Trump administration aren’t deserving of restaurant hospitality. Sanders made the comments during an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday, responding to the recent confrontations between protestors and White House officials that have taken place in public spaces. “I think people have a right to go into a restaurant and have their dinner,” he said.

Sanders’ statements were critical of the owner of the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, who opted to kick out White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders from the restaurant mid-meal over the weekend. Sanders instead called for citizens to “take that anger out in a constructive way” by getting involved in politics. “We should be mobilizing our people in a way that creates the kind of movement we need to create a government here in Washington that represents all of us, not just the 1 percent,” he said. “That’s where we’ve got to place our energy.”

Sanders’s views fall in stark contrast to those of California Democratic Representative Maxine Waters, who called on supporters to make Trump officials feel unwelcome in public spaces over the weekend. “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them,” she said during a rally, “and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

Sanders’ statements — in which he adds, “I’m not a great fan of shouting down people or being rude to people” — come amid reports of chicken poop-slinging conservative protests at the Red Hen for invoking its legal right to refuse service. The business has been the subject of relentless online harassment over the decision to eject Sarah Huckabee Sanders, fueled in part by Tweets from herself and POTUS. Online trolls doxxed owner Stephanie Wilkinson, with users posting her home address and phone number on various message boards and social media platforms. Even unaffiliated Red Hen restaurants have been swept up in the mess, with some employees reporting they received death threats following the incident.

Bernie Sanders Defends Sarah Sanders: People Have a Right To Go to a Restaurant for Dinner [Mediaite]
Bernie Sanders: Sarah Sanders Has the Right to ‘Go Into a Restaurant and Have Dinner’ [The Hill]
Right-Wing Witch Hunt Erupts After Restaurant Ejects Sarah Huckabee Sanders [E]
Trump Officials Don’t Deserve Hospitality [E]
All Politics Coverage [E]