Woman fired after showing Donald Trump the middle finger as his motorcade passed
An American marketing executive has been fired from her job after giving the finger to President Donald Trump as his motorcade passed.
Juli Briskman, 50, was cycling through Sterling, Virginia last month when she was passed by the president, en route to his golf course on the weekend.
“Here’s what was going through my head that day: ‘Really? You’re golfing again?’” she said.
During her bike ride she said she was thinking about the devastation in Puerto Rico, was furious that young immigrants brought to the United States as children could be deported, was despondent over the deaths and devastation in Las Vegas, and concerned about her friends in the diplomatic corps who worried about their job security.
“I was thinking about all this, tooling along, when I see the black cars come and I remember, oh, yeah, he was back on the golf course,” she told The Washington Post.
When the motorcade passed, she had no idea her one-fingered salute had been captured by photographer Brendan Smialowski, working for Agence France-Presse and Getty Images.
The image quickly went viral.
“I said ‘Yeah, that’s me. Isn’t it funny?’ ” she said, when her friends asked if it was her.
She posted it as her Facebook cover photo and her Twitter profile picture. However, the owner of the yoga studio where she worked part-time asked her to remove the image, and she began receiving emailed threats.
She told her bosses at Akima, a government contractor, that she was the woman in the photo.
“It was just a heads-up,” she said.
But, to her surprise, on Halloween she was fired, and escorted from the building, with her bosses saying they wanted her to “be professional” – despite the fact that the incident was at the weekend, and she was not wearing anything that identified her.
“I wasn’t even at work when I did that,” she said. “But they told me I violated the code of conduct policy.”
Ms Briskman, mother to two teenagers, was unrepentant, however.
“I’d do it again,” she said.