- The Washington Times - Monday, June 25, 2018

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee alleged Monday that the restaurant owner who refused service to his daughter, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, actually ended up following Mrs. Sanders’ family to another restaurant and causing a “scene.”

Mr. Huckabee told conservative radio host Laura Ingraham on Monday that Stephanie Wilkinson, owner of the Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, kicked Mrs. Sanders and her family out of the restaurant and then proceeded to yell at them when they tried to go to a different restaurant across the street.

“There’s a part of that story that hasn’t been told, you’re going to be the first to hear it,” Mr. Huckabee said, Mediaite first reported. “Once Sarah and her family left, of course Sarah was asked to please vacate, Sarah and her husband just went home. They had sort of had enough. But the rest of her family went across the street to a different restaurant.

“The owner of the Red Hen — nobody’s told this — then followed them across the street, called people, and organized a protest yelling and screaming at them from outside the other restaurant and creating this scene,” he said.

Mr. Huckabee said Ms. Wilkinson squandered an opportunity to have a thoughtful discussion about her political differences with his daughter.

Ms. Wilkinson told The Washington Post that she and her staff made the decision to kick Mrs. Sanders out Friday night as a protest against the policies of the Trump administration. She said she asked Mrs. Sanders to step aside for a word in private and then told her to leave.

“I was babbling a little, but I got my point across in a polite and direct fashion,” Ms. Wilkinson said. “I explained that the restaurant has certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation.

Mrs. Sanders wrote on Twitter that she left “politely.”

“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,” she tweeted. “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.”

The president attacked the restaurant on Twitter, calling it “dirty.”

Ms. Wilkinson said she’d do it all again if given the chance.

“I’m not a huge fan of confrontation,” she told The Post. “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.”

“I would have done the same thing again,” she said.  “We just felt there are moments in time when people need to live their convictions. This appeared to be one.”

Ms. Wilkinson has not responded to Mr. Huckabee’s claim that she followed the Sanders family out of the restaurant.

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