After White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was ejected from the small, 26-seat Red Hen restaurant in rural Virginia Friday evening, Sanders took to her own Twitter account to publicize the incident — and directly identify the restaurant and its location, leaving the small establishment open to attacks and abuse from Trump’s supporters.
“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,” Sanders wrote, and in fact, the restaurant was quickly the target of numerous threats, as the Inquisitr reported, and a flood of hostile Yelp reviews.
But early Monday morning, the little eatery was hit by another online attack — this one from Trump himself. In his Monday Twitter assault, Trump didn’t merely criticize the restaurant for removing Sanders, he called the Red Hen “filthy” and “dirty.”
Trump may have wanted to wait before tweeting that accusation at the Red Hen because not only is Trump’s claim false according to the Red Hen’s most recent health code inspection, which found no violations at all, but Trump’s own restaurants have received repeated poor ratings and dozens of violations in health inspection records uncovered by The Daily Beast online magazine.
The Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, was found to be spotless and received the state health department’s highest possible rating in the latest health inspection report, according to The Daily Beast.
On the other hand, according to health records posted by The Daily Beast, the restaurant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida — the luxury hotel and residence that Trump calls “The Winter White House,” as The Sun-Sentinel recounted — was slapped with 51 health code violations from 2013 to 2018.
Health records posted by The Tallahassee Democrat revealed another 30 violations at the Mar-a-Lago Beach Club over the same time period.
But the Trump National Doral Miami face even worse, in health records from inspections over the past five years, with the most recent violation cited on March 16 of this year. In total, the Trump Doral was slammed with a whopping 524 health violations since February 12, 2013 — including some where the state judged that the restaurant did such bad job cleaning up the health hazards that it was fined.
“Among inspectors’ findings were multiple spottings of live and dead cockroaches (they noted 20-25 live ones visibly present in the main kitchen during one 2015 visit), ‘slimy/mold-like build-up’ in coolers and freezers, and holes in kitchen walls,” according to a summary by Daily Beast reporter Lachlan Markay.
Over that same five-year period, the Lexington, Virginia, Red Hen restaurant that ejected Sarah Huckabee Sanders received only three violations, two of them for pickle jars that were simply an ornamental display, not used to serve food, health records show. All of the violations were corrected.
Health code violations at Trump-affiliated restaurants are not confined to southern Florida, however. Just blocks from the Whole House, as The Washington Post reports, stands The Trump International Hotel, where District of Columbia health inspectors paid a visit in April and found 10 health violations, records show.
As a result, the district’s health department rated the hotel a “moderate risk” to the health of its guests — many of whom are foreign dignitaries who spend their governments’ money there — in effect paying Trump directly. The hotel generated $40 million in income for Trump last year alone, as the Inquisitr reported earlier this year.
When inspectors visited the Trump hotel again in May, records examined by The Daily Beast show, they found that some of the violations were still there, and as a result, they refused to lift the “moderate risk” warning from the hotel.
A steak restaurant inside the Trump D.C. hotel, BLT Prime, was also judged a “moderate risk” to diners, according to health records, due to issues storing raw meat and other violations.