- The Washington Times - Monday, November 21, 2016

Maggiano’s Little Italy has apologized and vowed to donate $10,000 to the Anti-Defamation League after a Washington, D.C., location was reportedly tricked into hosting a dinner for white nationalists.

Protesters demonstrated at the Maggiano’s Little Italy in Friendship Heights over the weekend after former reality TV star and outspoken Nazi sympathizer Tila Tequila tweeted a photo of herself and two men giving a Heil Hitler salute inside the restaurant on Friday night.

Members of the National Policy Institute, an alt-right white nationalist group, were holding a banquet at the restaurant Saturday before their conference at the Ronald Reagan Building, Washington City Paper reported.

On Monday, the restaurant chain said in a Facebook post that the Friendship Heights location had to be closed down due to the protests.

“The protesters were upset because of a banquet we were hosting for a group called the National Policy Institute (NPI),” the statement read. “This was a last minute booking made Friday afternoon, and the reservation was made under a different name, therefore we were not aware that NPI was dining with us or what the group represents. After the event, an attendee sent a tweet in which she made a ‘Sieg Heil salute’ in support of Hitler and white supremacy. This expression of support of Hitler is extremely offensive to us, as our restaurant is home to Teammates and Guests of every race, religion and cultural background.

“We want to sincerely apologize to the community of Friendship Heights for inadvertently hosting this meeting, which resulted in hateful sentiment,” Maggiano’s said. “We want you to know that at the suggestion of one of our Guests, we are donating the profits from our restaurant sales on Friday, $10,000, to the DC office of the Anti-Defamation League, which for decades has been working to bring people together in peace and understanding.”

The Anti-Defamation League has been a leading critic of the alt-right movement, describing it as a “range of people on the extreme right who reject mainstream conservatism in favor of forms of conservatism that embrace implicit or explicit racism or white supremacy.”

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