- Officials in the Trump administration are facing increasingly personal blowback over some of the administration’s wildly unpopular policies.
- It is part of a growing feud that some fear has raised the specter of political violence in the US.
- Officials aligned with President Donald Trump have been harassed at and kicked out of restaurants.
- A Democratic congresswoman called on her supporters to mob and harass officials in the Trump administration anywhere they go.
- GOP lawmakers, still reeling from the shooting that targeted Republicans at a congressional baseball practice, denounced it as a call to hostility.
Officials in the Trump administration are facing increasingly personal blowback over some of the administration’s wildly unpopularpolicies in a growing feud that some fear has raised the specter of political violence in the US.
The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the public face of the Trump administration, was kicked out of a Lexington, Virginia, restaurant over the weekend as one of the establishment’s owners told her she was part of an “inhumane and unethical” organisation.
Before that, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was shouted out of a Mexican restaurant in Washington, DC. Stephen Miller, the senior White House adviser known to advocate President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies, was called a fascist to his face at another restaurant in Washington.
While some establishment figures, including The Washington Post’s editorial board, called for civility toward the Trump administration, others fanned the flames.
Rep. Maxine Waters, a controversial Democrat from California who has sparred with Trump before, called on her supporters to push even harder.
“You have members of your Cabinet that have been booed out of restaurants, who have protesters taking up at their house who say, ‘No peace, no sleep,'” Waters said at a rally on Sunday, adding, “God is on our side.”
She later said: “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.”
Senior Republican figures quickly seized on the message as an incitement of hostility.
“This is a very bad, dangerous idea,” Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah tweeted. “Debate and even disagreement is critical to the American experiment. But when we stop seeing the humanity in the other side, we all lose.”
“Don’t ever again give me any of the ‘when they go low, we go high’ lip service,” Meghan McCain, the daughter of Sen. John McCain and daughter-in-law of an official in the Trump administration, tweeted, referring to a slogan used by Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Some in the US and around the world seek to personally punish Trump and his administration. Since Trump took office an anti-Trump movement has sought a boycott of companies with business ties to Trump’s family.
Some have suggested countries retaliate to Trump’s tariffs with tariffs against his companies.
The comedian Kathy Griffin sparked outrage last year when she was photographed holding what was made to look like Trump’s decapitated head.
In Washington, young Trump staffers report difficulty in dating because their politics are unpopular in one of the most Democratic cities in the US.
But hostility has led to violence in recent history. Rep. Steve Scalise, who became a victim of political violence when a gunman shot him at a baseball practice for Republicans in Congress, again urged civility.
“Civility and respect always prevails over harassment and disrespect,” Scalise said in response to Waters’ comments.
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