Trump's history of health code violations at his businesses comes under fire after he blasts 'filthy' restaurant that kicked out Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Scott Olson/Getty ImagesDonald Trump.
  • President Donald Trump blasted a restaurant that kicked out his press secretary over the weekend.
  • Trump said the restaurant’s exterior was “filthy” and “dirty.”
  • Trump’s properties have faced a number of health-code violations.

President Donald Trump blasted a Virginia restaurant on Monday morning as “filthy” and “dirty” after the business ejected White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders over the weekend.

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

That tweet triggered a reexamination of some of Trump’s most prominent properties, which have a history of facing health-code violations. Meanwhile, the Red Hen restaurant passed all of its most recent health inspections with minor or no violations.

Perhaps the most notable of the Trump properties to come under fire by health inspectors was the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, which has faced 51 health code violations since 2013 – including 15 during an early 2017 inspection. The club met minimum standards to remain open.

“Hard to see how the White House will reconcile Trump’s sudden worries about food safety with the 15 violations they found last year at Mar-a-Lago,” tweeted David Martosko, the US political editor for The Daily Mail.

Also at Trump branded properties:

  • Washington, DC, health inspectors found 10 health code violations during an April visit to the Trump International Hotel, rating the hotel as “moderate risk” based on the inspection.
  • During a May follow-up, DC health inspectors found that the hotel failed to comply with some of the instructions to correct the violations, and the hotel remained in the “moderate risk” category. The steakhouse at the hotel, BLT Prime, was also given a “moderate risk” rating by inspectors in April.
  • And at the Trump International Hotelin Las Vegas, the hotel’s steakhouse was forced to briefly shut down in 2012 when health inspectors found more than 50 violations.

During a February visit to the Red Hen, Virginia health inspectors gave the establishment a good review, observing that there was “good food/unit temperatures” and staff with “clean uniforms/aprons. There was no follow-up required. The restaurant passed inspection last year, though inspectors did find one violation – “pickles/jams in a hermetically sealed container” that was “not from an approved food processing plant.” That violation was corrected during inspection.

The Red Hen was not inspected in 2016, passed in 2015 with no violations, and passed in 2014 with two violations that were corrected by the restaurant.

Following Sanders’ tweet about the restaurant kicking her out because of her work for Trump, the restaurant’s co-owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, told The Washington Post that she asked Sanders to leave after Wilkinson’s staffers expressed concern.

Wilkinson said several of her employees are gay and took issue with Sanders defending Trump’s desire to bar transgender people from serving in the military. They also were uneasy with serving the press secretary who defended Trump’s controversial family-separation policy at the southern border.

“I’m not a huge fan of confrontation,” Wilkinson told The Post. “I have a business, and I want the business to thrive. This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.”

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