Several White House aides have been publicly confronted over Trump administration policies in recent weeks.
President Donald Trump is displeased with White House staffers who have "backed down" from public confrontations with hecklers, The Washington Post reported Monday, citing senior administration officials.
Over the past several weeks, several White House officials have been confronted in public places like restaurants over the Trump administration's policies, including the controversial "zero tolerance" immigration policy that resulted in thousands of children being separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and the White House senior adviser Stephen Miller have been shouted at in Mexican restaurants in Washington, DC. The White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a Virginia restaurant at the owner's request last month, and the former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was called a "piece of trash" by a customer in a Virginia bookstore on Saturday.
Shortly before resigning as the Environmental Protection Agency chief last week, Scott Pruitt was approached by a woman in a DC restaurant who urged him to resign. The woman, a schoolteacher named Kristin Mink, later jokingly tweeted, "Hey @realDonaldTrump where are you going to lunch tomorrow?"
As these incidents become more frequent and go viral on social media, Trump wants his staffers to take a take a more forceful stand against public hecklers, The Post's report said.
In a June 15 appearance on "Fox & Friends," Trump said Sanders should have walked out during the White House Correspondents' Dinner in April when the comedian Michelle Wolf mocked Sanders during her monologue. The White House communications official Mercedes Schlapp did walk out during Wolf's performance.
Other White House officials, however, have been doing just that. The Post reported that Miller once threw out $80 worth of sushi he had ordered after a bartender at the restaurant flipped him off.
The senior White House official Kellyanne Conway has also been known to hit back at those who confront her in public. After a man at a Baltimore Orioles game insulted Conway and took a photo of her, she snapped a photo of him and told him it would go toward her "collection of underachieving men," The Post reported.