Politics

As Trump Officials Are Heckled at Restaurants, Lieu Boasts About Free Dessert

Democratic rep highlights contrast over migrant family separation policy

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., received a free slice of baklava at a Greek restaurant recently. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Apparently no one’s chanting “Shame!” at Rep. Ted Lieu when he dines at Mexican restaurants, to the point he feels compelled to leave without finishing his dinner. Bartenders aren’t following him out onto the street from sushi bars to flash him middle fingers and curse at him.

Nope.

Instead, the California Democrat is getting free dessert, he bragged on Twitter, highlighting the contrast between his treatment and how Americans have spontaneously protested — and in the case of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, refused to even serve — officials in the administration of President Donald Trump when they recognize them in public.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was driven from a Mexican restaurant in D.C., while Miller was so disgusted at being shown the bird and cursed at that he threw out his $80 sushi order, the Washington Post reported.

Lieu said he ordered takeout from a Greek restaurant recently and when he arrived to pick up his food, the owner recognized him and slid him a free slice of baklava, one of Lieu’s favorite desserts.

“He said he appreciated what I was doing,” Lieu said. “I guess that’s what happens when one opposes ripping kids away from parents.”

Lieu’s comment was a clear dig at administration officials who have grumbled about being shouted out of restaurants and local businesses in the D.C. area, casting political civility — or the perceived dearth of it — into the spotlight.

The pattern of protest and political incivility is circular, with both Republicans and Democrats feeling the heat from unhappy Americans.

When the Post reported Sanders was refused service at the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia in June, Rep. Maxine Waters urged her liberal supporters at a rally to rise up in similar spontaneous protests whenever they see Trump officials in public.

“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,” Waters said.

Both Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California criticized Waters for her comments.

Waters later canceled two events, one in Texas and another in Alabama, due to death threats she received over her comments.

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