Former Obama Adviser 'Appalled' by Sarah Sanders Being Kicked Out of Restaurant

A former top adviser to ex-president Barack Obama said Sunday he was both "amazed and appalled" by liberals who praised a restaurant for refusing to serve White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, claiming the incident was a "triumph" for President Donald Trump.

David Axelrod, who served as a senior adviser to Obama and helped strategize both of the 44th president's successful campaigns, suggested the actions taken by the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia and those who applauded them were only serving to further divide the country like Trump wants.

"Kind of amazed and appalled by the number of folks on Left who applauded the expulsion of @PressSec and her family from a restaurant. This, in the end, is a triumph for @realDonaldTrump vision of America: Now we're divided by red plates & blue plates! #sad," Axelrod tweeted.

Indeed, the decision by the restaurant's co-owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, to ask Sanders and her party to leave Friday evening has drawn significant criticism and praise. Wilkinson said the situation felt like a "moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals," reported The Washington Post. But The Post also ran an editorial Sunday with the headline "Let the Trump team eat in peace."

Sanders alerted the public to the incident Saturday, tweeting she "politely left" and that she does her "best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so."

"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. 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," Sanders tweeted from the official press secretary account.

Still, some, such as Representative Maxine Waters, a California Democrat, have seized on the restaurant's decision. Speaking at a rally in Los Angeles on Saturday, Waters stated that Trump administration officials were going to be met by protesters "who absolutely harass them" until the "zero-tolerance" policy used against immigrants at the southern border was rescinded.

Other administration officials have also been subject to protests at restaurants. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was met with chants last week while dining at a Mexican restaurant, and senior White House adviser Stephen Miller was called a "fascist" in a separate incident.

Trump weighed in on the controversy Monday morning, accusing the restaurant of being unclean on the outside and therefore also "dirty on the inside!" Trump also defended Sanders as a "fine person."

"The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!" Trump said.

Former Obama Adviser 'Appalled' by Sarah Sanders Being Kicked Out of Restaurant | U.S.