Sanders May Have Broken the Law After Being Booted From Restaurant, Says Ex-White House Ethics Chief

The White House press secretary used her official Twitter account to send a less-than-official message.

Michael Brochstein/Zuma

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.

After being asked to leave the a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took to Twitter. But while she may have seen it as a way to let Trump supporters know what happened to her, former White House ethics lawyer Walter Shaub says she may have broken the law.

Shaub tweeted that Sanders’ use of her official government account to tweet about the incident was a violation of ethics law because it discouraged patronage of the restaurant.

https://twitter.com/waltshaub/status/1010651510659846145

https://twitter.com/waltshaub/status/1010652947498328065

Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of the Red Hen, explained that she asked Sanders to leave because she works for an “inhumane and unethical” administration and several of her employees who are a part of the LGBTQ community didn’t feel comfortable serving her.

If it was Sanders’ intent to discourage patronage, it might have worked. After the tweet, many conservatives took to Yelp to leave critical messages and vow never to visit the restaurant. 

WE'RE TAKING A SHORT BREAK…

from the big banner at the top of our pages asking for the donations that make Mother Jones' nonprofit journalism possible. But we still have upwards of $300,000 to raise by June 30, whether we get there is going to come down to the wire, and we can't afford to come up short.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please join your fellow readers who pitch in from time to time to keep our democracy-advancing, justice-seeking journalism charging hard (and to help us avoid a real budget crunch as June 30 approaches and our fiscal year ends).

payment methods

WE'RE TAKING A SHORT BREAK…

from the big banner at the top of our pages asking for the donations that make Mother Jones' nonprofit journalism possible. But we still have upwards of $300,000 to raise by June 30, whether we get there is going to come down to the wire, and we can't afford to come up short.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please join your fellow readers who pitch in from time to time to keep our democracy-advancing, justice-seeking journalism charging hard (and to help us avoid a real budget crunch as June 30 approaches and our fiscal year ends).

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate