After Sarah Huckabee Sanders was booted from a Virginia restaurant, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters encouraged critics of the White House to do more of the same by confronting and harassing members of the Trump Cabinet in public whenever possible. Now President Trump has fired back, referring to Waters as "an extraordinarily low IQ person," in a tweet. "She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement," wrote Trump, before adding a warning: "Be careful what you wish for Max!" Related coverage:
- Pelosi distances: Nancy Pelosi issued what Politico reads as a "gentle rebuke" of Waters. In a tweet that linked to coverage of Waters' remarks, the House minority leader wrote that "in the crucial months ahead, we must strive to make America beautiful again." While she chided "Trump’s daily lack of civility," she added, “As we go forward, we must conduct elections in a way that achieves unity from sea to shining sea.”
- Criticism: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said on Fox News that Waters' comments were "very dangerous" and called on her to apologize, reports the Washington Post. In terms of political strategy, what Waters did is a "very bad idea," writes Chris Cillizza at CNN. "No one gets down in the mud with Trump and comes out clean." He also takes issue ethically with the idea of encouraging public harassment.
- Wrong restaurant: A restaurant in Connecticut that shares the name Red Hen with the one in Virginia that booted Huckabee Sanders was being besieged by bad reviews and threats, reports the Hartford Courant. "You calmly and politely explain there’s no affiliation, but they’re so wound up it doesn’t matter what you say,” the owner says. “They’re ready to go. They say what they were going to say, which is usually something incredibly insulting and threatening.”
- Wrong restaurant, II: Other Red Hen restaurants, including in DC and in New Jersey, were suffering similar fates, reports Fast Company. People seem to think the Red Hens were somehow affiliated—they're not—and no amount of owner explanations was satisfying the critics.
- Glass houses: Trump called the Red Hen in Lexington "filthy" Monday morning, but CNBC reports that Virginia's health department found no violations in February and gave it the highest possible rating. The story also notes that Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida was cited nearly 80 times over three years for health code violations.
- Too far? Click to read opposing views on whether Trump critics are going too far by harassing officials in restaurants.
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