Jun 23, 2018

Go deeper: The story behind Sarah Sanders' boot from a VA restaurant

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders' dismissal from The Red Hen, a small Lexington, Virginia restaurant, went viral on Saturday morning — spurred first by a Facebook post from an employee and later by Sanders' confirmation via Twitter.

What they're saying: The restaurant's owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, granted an interview to The Washington Post this afternoon, telling her story about why she decided to give the public face of the Trump administration the boot from her establishment.

  • Wilkinson received a call from her staff around 8 p.m. last night that Sanders and her family had entered the restaurant — and drove over herself to confirm the news.
  • "I’m not a huge fan of confrontation. 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.
  • After she arrived and confirmed Sanders' identity, she asked her staff if she should ask Sanders to leave. They agreed, so Wilkinson requested that Sanders join her on the restaurant's patio — even after her party had already ordered their main course.
  • "Sanders’s response was immediate, Wilkinson said: "'That’s fine. I’ll go.'"
  • Sanders' family followed her out — but offered to pay for what they had been served before leaving — though Wilkinson told them it was on the house.

The big picture: Lexington (population: 7,042) is an overwhelmingly blue small town, located smack dab in the middle of Rockbridge County, which voted 62% for Trump.

Worth noting: Sanders didn't kick off the social media furor over her dismissal. That started this morning when a waiter there posted a now-deleted update to Facebook last night that "my owner asked her to leave." Sanders only confirmed the confrontation in her own tweet after the story had already exploded across the Internet.

  • But Sanders' relatively polite ouster hasn't translated to the Internet's reaction: The Red Hen's Yelp page is currently in an Active Cleanup Alert after it's been bombarded by 1-star and 5-star reviews all day from people on both sides of the political spectrum, bringing its average score down to 2.5 stars in the process.

Go deeper: Dining out in D.C. is getting tough for Trump officials.

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Go deeper

Tariff worries hit record high amid coronavirus outbreak

Data: CivicScience, margin of error ±1 percentage points; Chart: Axios Visuals

Concern about President Trump's tariffs on U.S imports grew to record high levels among Americans last month, particularly as more lost their jobs and concern about the novel coronavirus increased.

Driving the news: About seven in 10 people said they were at least somewhat concerned about tariffs in March, according to the latest survey from CivicScience provided first to Axios.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Largest 24-hour spike in fatalities

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York's death toll from the novel coronavirus surged to its highest one-day total on Tuesday, as the U.S. saw its largest 24-hour spike in fatalities, per Johns Hopkins data. Recorded deaths across the U.S. surpassed 12,900 early Wednesday.

Why it matters: State officials have stressed that lockdowns must continue even if cities begin to see slight improvements from social distancing. Several hot spots, including New York, New Orleans, and Detroit, are expected to peak in the coming days.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 1,430,453 — Total deaths: 82,133 — Total recoveries: 301,385Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 399,081 — Total deaths: 12,907 — Total recoveries: 22,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill — Trump said he "didn't see" memos from his trade adviser Peter Navarro warning that the crisis could kill more than half a million Americans.
  4. States latest: California Gov. Gavin Newsom is confident that more than 200 million masks will be delivered to the state "at a monthly basis starting in the next few weeks."
  5. Business latest: America's food heroes in times of the coronavirus crisis. Even when the economy comes back to life, huge questions for airlines will remain.
  6. World updates: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  7. 2020 latest: Polls for Wisconsin's primary elections closed at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, but results won't be released until April 13. Thousands of residents cast ballots in person.
  8. 1 Olympics thing: About 6,500 athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Games will keep their spots in 2021.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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