A bookstore owner in Richmond said he called the police after a woman confronted Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist for President Donald Trump, in his shop Saturday.
Nick Cooke, owner of Black Swan Books on West Main Street in the Fan District, said Bannon was in the bookstore Saturday afternoon and that a woman confronted him, calling him a “piece of trash.”
Cooke said he called 911 and that the woman left as he made the call.
“Steve Bannon was simply standing, looking at books, minding his own business. I asked her to leave, and she wouldn’t. And I said, ‘I’m going to call the police if you don’t,’ and I went to call the police and she left,” Cooke said. “And that’s the end of the story.”
The Richmond Police Department confirmed a call was made around 3:15 p.m. Saturday for a report of someone yelling at a political figure in the bookstore and that the call was canceled before any officers responded.
“We are a bookshop. Bookshops are all about ideas and tolerating different opinions and not about verbally assaulting somebody, which is what was happening,” Cooke said.
Bannon grew up in Richmond’s North Side and graduated from Benedictine High School.
The incident mirrors other protest actions taken directly against Trump supporters and officials in their private time.
In June, demonstrators confronted Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., and the owner of the Red Hen, a restaurant in Lexington, declined to serve White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
This past Monday, a woman with her 2-year-old son confronted Trump’s now former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt in a D.C. restaurant and urged him to resign. Trump said Thursday that he had accepted his scandal-plagued EPA chief’s resignation.
When asked about whether he has a personal relationship with Bannon, Cooke said he had no comment and wanted to respect Bannon’s privacy, describing him as “a private person in my bookshop.”
A photograph of what appeared to be Bannon in the bookshop circulated Saturday on Twitter.
It is unclear who specifically confronted Bannon at Black Swan Books.
Efforts to contact Bannon early Saturday evening were unsuccessful.