Donald Trump’s trigger-happy tweeting habit could end up with “someone getting killed”, a former White House ethics adviser has warned.
The latest controversy to surround the US President started when Stephanie Wilkinson, the owner of the Red Hen restaurant in the state of Virginia, asked Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to leave because of her job at the White House.
Local media quoted Wilkinson as saying her employees didn’t feel comfortable waiting on Sanders.
The news then spread much further when Sanders posted it on her official Twitter account, saying the owner’s actions, “say far more about her than about me.”
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
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 23, 2018
The incident follows a similar one last week when protesters confronted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a Mexican restaurant.
Not one to let any slight go unchallenged, Donald Trump wielded the power of his presidency on Monday to attack the small restaurant in Lexington.
Tweeting to his 53 million followers, Mr Trump said: “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.”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2018
It also emerged on Monday that a separate Red Hen restaurant in Washington, some 175 miles away and completely unrelated to the original restaurant, had been egged over the weekend.
In response, Walter Shaub, the director of the United States Office of Government Ethics from 2013 to 2017, said in a tweet that his previous warning about the actions of Ms Sanders and Mr Trump were coming home to roost.
He warned that the actions of the pair indicated the ‘mobilisation of government influence’ and that ‘one day it will get someone killed’.
This is why I pointed out that her use of a govt account was a violation & that POTUS’s tweet failed to live up to the standard of his predecessors who tried to act as if ethics rules applied to them. This is the mobilization of govt influence. One day it will get someone killed. https://t.co/FVLb95zmVd
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) June 25, 2018
Mr Trump has a history of tweeting thoughts that many would regard as inflammatory.
In November last year, he retweeted a handful of posts by the deputy leader of the far-right Britain First, Jayda Fransen. At least one of the three videos turned out to be fake.,
And in July 2017, he tweeted a video showing him pretending to matter another person outside of a wrestling ring, only for the ‘victim’s’ head replaced by a CNN logo.