By Caroline Linton CBS News August 12, 2018, 12:57 AM Houston restaurant shuts down social media after criticism for Jeff Sessions photo
A Houston Tex-Mex restaurant appeared to have deleted its social media accounts Saturday after posting a photo with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. On Friday, El Tiempo Cantina posted it was an "honor" to serve Sessions, but backtracked one day later.
Roland Laurenzo, president of Laurenzo's Restaurant Group, which owns El Tiempo Cantina, apologized Saturday, CBS Houston affiliate KHOU reports. He said "in no way" did he mean for the social mean post to "imply the company endorses Sessions' politics," KHOU reports.
Laurenzo told KHOU the restaurant is not in favor of separating immigrant families, and does not agree with Sessions on gay rights.
Laurenzo said he discussed fajitas with Sessions, KHOU reports, and that the Attorney General was "treated like any other guest." The restaurant posted a photo with Sessions that said it was an "honor" to serve him.
The post was met with swift backlash online, with some calling for a boycott. Laurenzo told KHOU he had received death threats. It was deleted Saturday, along with the restaurant's account.
"We didn't think we were doing something wrong," Laurenzo told KHOU. "We didn't have any idea this was going to happen."
Sessions is in Houston to discuss immigration enforcement with law enforcement officers, the Houston Chronicle reported.
President Trump called out Sessions on Twitter on Saturday morning, writing that he is "scared stiff and Missing in Action."
Confronting Trump administration officials at restaurants or public has started to gain popularity this summer amid the administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy that separated children from their parents. In June, protesters crashed Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's dinner at a Mexican restaurant near the White House.
A week later, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen, a restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. The owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, told The Washington Post she believes Sanders works for an "inhumane and unethical" administration.
After Sanders posted on Twitter that she had been asked to leave the restaurant, the Red Hen was at the center of a social media tsunami. Its Yelp page was swarmed by negative reviews and liberals cheering, and Mr. Trump even weighed in on Twitter, writing ""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. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside."
After the Sanders incident, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, urged fellow Democrats to keep it up.
"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," Waters said.
Former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, whose time at the helm of the agency was plagued by scandals, was confronted by a Maryland teacher holding her 2-year-old son at a Washington, D.C. restaurant. "Hi, I just wanted to urge you to resign because of what you're doing to the environment and our country," Kristin Mink told Pruitt in a video that was posted online. He resigned a few days later.
Additionally, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was heckled at a movie theater in Tampa in June.
Since Mr. Trump took office, he has never dined at a restaurant in the U.S. not owned or licensed by the Trump Organization, according to CBS News' Mark Knoller, the unofficial record keeper of presidential data for decades.
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