MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes weighed into the debate surrounding the Red Hen restaurant’s decision to eject White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, telling an audience on “Late Night with Seth Meyers” that it was just how it goes in politics and the moment was a result of living in a free society.
“I think sometimes that this conversation about civility can paper over a lot of what is actually just what politics looks like,” Hayes told Meyers on Monday evening.
“I will say this that, look, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, for example, is one of the most powerful people in the world,” he added. “And in a very real and tangible sense, the defining feature of a free society is that you can tell one of the most powerful people in the world in your government, ‘Get out of my restaurant.’ Like that’s genuinely like, a thing that makes a free society.”
Hayes’ in-house appearance on the show makes him the latest public figure to discuss the controversy that ensued over the weekend after Sanders was asked to leave the Lexington, Virginia eatery.
Sanders — in full Trumpian style — kicked off the imbroglio on Twitter.
“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,” she tweeted Saturday. “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”
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 moment has divided pundits and journalists, with some calling for civility with those who have political differences, while others agreed with Hayes’ position.
Sanders is far from the first Trump official to face trouble in recent weeks while dining out. Last week, both Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and senior aide Stephen Miller were heckled at Mexican eateries they were dining at in Washington D.C. Over the weekend, Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters urged a crowd of supporters to continue to disruptions.
“If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” she said in a widely viral moment.