Kellyanne Conway, one of the most visible and vocal advisers to President Donald Trump, claims she was accosted by a furious woman in a restaurant that CNN has identified as the Bethesda, Maryland, location of Tex-Mex chain Uncle Julio’s, which would make her the latest in a string of White House officials involved in a politically charged altercation while dining out.
In an interview with CNN, Conway, a counselor to the president and one of his top media surrogates, says a woman later identified as Mary Elizabeth Inabinett, 63, grabbed her from behind and shook her while she was out to eat with her daughter and friends in October.
Conway describes the incident, which she reported to police, in an on-camera interview for CNN’s Badass Women of Washington series:
“She was out of control. I don’t even know how to explain her to you. She was just, her whole face was terror and anger. She was right here, and my daughter was right there. She ought to pay for that,” Conway says.
Inabinett left the restaurant but was later charged with second-degree assault and disorderly conduct. She is due in Montgomery County district court March 29.
Inabinett’s attorney, William Alden McDaniel Jr., says she will plead “not guilty” because she was exercising her First Amendment rights against a public figure in a public place.
“She did not assault Ms. Conway,” McDaniel says in a statement. “The facts at trial will show this to be true, and show Ms. Conway’s account to be false.”
According to the police report obtained by CNN, Conway says Inabinett yelled at her for about 10 minutes after grabbing her, shouting “shame on you” and other comments Conway thought referred to her political views. Conway’s daughter reportedly filmed the run-in, and Conway later identified Inabinett out of a line-up for police.
In June, about a dozen protestors harangued Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at MXDC, a chic Mexican restaurant downtown, shortly after a news conference in which she praised the president for a “zero tolerance” immigration policy that led to thousands of children being separated from their families and detained at the Mexican border.
Days later, the owner of the Red Hen Restaurant in Lexington, Virginia (not Bloomingdale!), asked White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave in the middle of a meal because many members of her LGBT staff were uncomfortable serving Sanders.
Trump senior adviser Stephen Miller, perhaps the president’s loudest bullhorn for anti-immigration rhetoric, reportedly threw away $80 of takeout sushi after a bartender from the restaurant shouted at him in July.