The Red Hen owner loses role as Executive Director of Virginia business group after backlash and protests

The owner of the restaurant in Virginia which kicked out White House press secretary Sarah Sanders last week has resigned from leadership of a local business group.

Stephanie Wilkinson resigned Tuesday as executive director of Main Street Lexington, a volunteer-based organization that promotes the “economic prosperity and cultural vitality” of the community, WSLS reported.

Wilkinson has come under fire since she asked Sanders and her family to leave her restaurant, The Red Hen, on Friday night.

“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,” Sanders tweeted the day after the incident. “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 move sparked reaction from both sides of the political aisle and has put the restaurant under the media spotlight. President Trump issued a scathing rebuke of the restaurant amid the controversy on Monday.

“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,” Trump tweeted. “I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside!”

“Considering the events of the past weekend, Stephanie felt it best that for the continued success of Main Street Lexington, she should step aside,” Branner wrote in an email, according to WSLS.

Wilkinson’s resignation was accepted by the president of Main Street Lexington, Elizabeth Outland Branner, on Tuesday.

It is not know whether she was asked to resign or if the move came voluntarily.



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