The refusal of a Virginia restaurant owner to serve White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the latest incident in the escalating public hostility directed at President Trump and his aides, raising concerns among some conservatives about the potential for partisan-inspired violence.
Leading Democrats largely failed to condemn the actions of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, where owner Stephanie Wilkinson asked Mrs. Sanders to leave Friday night because her liberal staff detests the administration and didn’t want to serve her party.
The incident has sparked outrage among Trump supporters as another example of intolerance on the left and increasingly aggressive partisan confrontation, especially in the wake of the president’s rescinded policy on separating illegal immigrant children from their parents.
Possible 2020 Democratic presidential contenders Joseph R. Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have done little to discourage the hostile rhetoric. Ms. Warren has accused the president of “taking America to a dark and ugly place,” and at least one of her colleagues went further, calling for total social ostracism and perpetual public confrontations.
In recent days, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has been heckled and booed at a Mexican restaurant by activists and faced demonstrators outside her home. White House senior adviser Stephen Miller was called a “real-life fascist” by another patron at a Mexican restaurant in Washington.
A congressional intern screamed at Mr. Trump, “Mr. President, f– you!” as the president arrived at the Capitol last week for a meeting with House Republicans on immigration policy.
An openly gay Democratic Pennsylvania legislator greeted Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Philadelphia on Thursday by posting an Instagram photo of himself giving the middle finger to Mr. Pence. “Get bent, then get out!” wrote state Rep. Brian Sims of Philadelphia.
Hollywood is encouraging the public nastiness. Actor Robert De Niro got a standing ovation at the Tony Awards this month for saying onstage at Radio City Music Hall: “F– Trump.” Actor Peter Fonda called for the president’s 12-year-old son, Barron, to be “thrown into a cage with pedophiles.” He later apologized....Comedian Seth Rogen bragged on TV about refusing to pose for a photo with Republican House Speaker Paul D. Ryan in front of the lawmaker’s sons. Actor Tom Arnold vowed to protest at the school attended by the children of presidential daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.Trump allies say liberals are increasingly targeting administration officials with open hostility because minority-party Democrats can’t stop the administration’s policies in Congress.“The