Democrat says he received free food for standing up to Trump

Lieu: Restaurant experiences 'improving'

By SARAH HALLAM, CNN
Rep. Ted Lieu via Twitter

WASHINGTON (CNN) - California's Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu tweeted Monday morning that his experiences in restaurants are improving after he spoke out against the Trump administration's immigration policies.

"My experience in restaurants: I ordered take out at a Greek restaurant. When I arrived, the owner saw me & threw in a free baklava (one of my favorite desserts)," Lieu wrote. "He said he appreciated what I was doing. I guess that's what happens when one opposes ripping kids away from parents."

Lieu was referring to the public pressure on the administration to take action regarding its immigration policies that resulted in separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

A federal judge ruled last month that the Justice Department must reunite children under age 5 who had been separated from their parents by July 10. The American Civil Liberties Union says fewer than half those children will be reunited by the deadline Tuesday. Children 5 and older must be reunited with their families by July 26.

Lieu's experience contrasts with those that some White House staff members have had in public.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said she was asked to leave by the owner of a small restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. Her treatment sparked a nationwide debate about civility in public between people with different political views.

Earlier that week, protesters had booed and shouted at Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen when she was dining in a Mexican restaurant.

On Saturday, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was called "a piece of trash" at a bookstore in Richmond, Virginia, and a report circulated Monday that White House senior adviser Stephen Miller had previously thrown away $80 worth of sushi after being heckled by a DC bartender.

Lawmakers who have worked directly with the Trump administration have also faced public backlash. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was chased from a Kentucky restaurant by a group of protesters on Saturday.

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