Restaurant apologises for accidentally hosting a white nationalist gathering
A restaurant has had to apologise and pledged to donate its profits after it accidentally hosted a National Policy Institute gathering.
When Maggiano's in Washington DC received a booking late on Friday afternoon they were unaware the party they would be providing a banquet for was the National Policy Institute (NPI) - an American white nationalist group which hit the headlines this week for its support of President-elect Donald Trump.
In a statement posted on Facebook, a spokesman for the restaurant said: "The reservation was made under a different name, therefore we were not aware that NPI was dining with us or what the group represents."
They said they only became aware of who they were hosting when one attendee posted a tweet of herself and two other guests performing a Nazi salute in the venue.
Reality TV star Tila Tequila, who posted the tweet, has reportedly had her account suspended by Twitter since.
"This expression of support of Hitler is extremely offensive to us, as our restaurant is home to Teammates and Guests of every race, religion and cultural background," Maggiano's said. "We want to sincerely apologise to the community of Friendship Heights for inadvertently hosting this meeting, which resulted in hateful sentiment."
At the suggestion of one guest, the restaurant has decided to donate the $10,000 (£8,000) profits made on the night of the banquet to the Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights agency which fights anti-Semitism and bigotry.
The NPI has been a hot topic this week due to a pro-Trump speech made at the group's annual conference - which happened the day after the group dined at Maggiano's.
"Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory," exclaimed group leader Richard Spencer raising a glass, which was met with cheers and Nazi salutes. The president-elect has since condemned the group.