A Houston-area Mexican restaurant was forced to shut down its social media accounts after sharing a photo that touted the visit of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Sessions dropped by El Tiempo Cantina in Montrose, Tex. Friday and posed for a smiling photo with executive chef Domenic Laurenzo.
The photo — whose caption declared it an “honor” to serve the Republican — was uploaded to the restaurant’s Facebook page — and quickly sparked massive backlash.
El Tiempo’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts were all taken down Saturday.
“People are insulting us in such a dramatic fashion, and we feel like we don’t deserve it,” owner Roland Laurenzo told ABC13 KTRK. “At least temporarily I had it taken down because I don’t want to be insulted, my children to be insulted, my family to be insulted.”
Laurenzo said in a statement that the restaurant does not support the Trump administration’s immigration policies, and claimed that employees were too “preoccupied” with serving the Secret Service to pay any mind to Sessions’ political leanings.
“The Secret Service contacted us that a government official was coming to dinner at our establishment and his identify was not known until he walked through the door,” he said, according to CultureMap. “The man came to dinner and he was served without us even thinking about the political situations. We were preoccupied with the Secret Service and catering to their wants and needs.”
The owner also said that the photo was shared to Facebook without his review or approval.
“This has lead to everyone jumping to conclusions that somehow we are involved in this political matter,” he said. “We don’t approve of anyone separating parents and children.”
Sessions was in Texas to talk about cracking down on illegal immigration with local law enforcement officials.
Still, it appears the damage is already done, as El Tiempo’s Yelp page has been inundated with criticism and one-star reviews.
“You messed up your reputation posting that picture,” user Alejandro G. wrote. “I really hope the Latino and LGBT community don’t visit your business anymore… You missed the opportunity to stand on the right side of history.”
“Posting pictures bragging about serving Jeff Sessions?” wrote another. “What a slap in the face to the Montrose community, LGBTQ community, and Latino community.”
The backlash echoes a similar situation involving White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in June.
Sanders was asked to leave the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Va., as owner Stephanie Wilkinson found the Trump administration “inhumane and unethical.”
Sanders detailed the encounter on Twitter, prompting both cheers and jeers from the general public.
“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,” President Trump wrote on Twitter.
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