Sanders thrown out of eatery over stance by her boss
A restaurant that refused to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders because she works for Donald Trump has been inundated with vitriolic reviews, many by people living thousands of kilometres away.
Ms Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia, sparking angry accusations that Mr Trump's aides are the target of liberal "bigotry".
She said she had been asked to leave by the owner of the eatery, about three hours' drive outside Washington.
The story was confirmed by the restaurant's owner who said she felt she had to take a stand for "honesty" and "compassion". The restaurant is in the town of Lexington, population 7,000, which voted heavily against Mr Trump.
On restaurant review site Yelp, a contributor wrote: "Don't eat here if you're a Republican, wearing a Maga hat or a patriot."
But other reviewers supported the restaurant owner's actions. One said: "12/10 would recommend. Bonus: this place is run by management who stuck up for their beliefs and who are true Americans."
Ms Sanders wrote on Twitter: "I was told by the owner of Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia to leave because I work for the president and I politely left.
"Her (the owner's) 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."
Republicans lost no time in accusing liberals of policing restaurants.
Ms Sanders' father Mike Huckabee, the former Republican presidential candidate, said: "Bigotry. On the menu at Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. Or you can ask for the 'Hate Plate'. And appetisers are 'small plates for small minds'."
Ms Sanders's treatment at the restaurant created a social media commotion with people on both sides weighing in.
Stephanie Wilkinson, co-owner of the tiny eatery, said she was at home when staff called to tell her Ms Sanders was dining and she went to see.
Ms Wilkinson consulted her staff, who all said they wanted Ms Sanders to leave. She went to Ms Sanders and told her to go.