Sterling, VA – A woman who displayed the middle finger to the President’s motorcade is getting a big payoff from people who don’t like the current White House administration.
Juli Briskman has said she just couldn’t control herself when President Donald Trump’s motorcade passed her as she was riding her bike in Northern Virginia on Oct. 28.
When she encountered President Donald Trump’s motorcade along her route, she flipped the President the bird, twice.
In fact, Briskman, 50, said she raced to catch up with the caravan of Secret Service vehicles at a stop light to make sure that she got her middle-finger point across.
A press pool photographer traveling with the motorcade caught a picture of Briskman’s disrespectful gesture to the President, and it rapidly went viral.
Not understanding that many people found her behavior reprehensible and offensive, Briskman proudly shared the fact that it was her in the picture on her own social media, and made it her profile pic on Facebook and Twitter.
Then she told her bosses what she’d done, and was surprised when the company fired her for it.
Briskman had only worked as a marketing executive for government contractor Akima LLC for six months when she made her viral social media debut with an obscene gesture directed at the company’s largest client.
While it’s not surprising that a business dependent on government contracts wouldn’t want to keep an employee who is publicly protesting the U.S. government on any level, anti-Trump supporters quickly rallied behind the unemployed mother of two.
A fundraising campaign set up by Rob Mello on Briskman’s behalf has already received pledges for more than $90,000 from people who don’t know her, but support her literal gesture.
Briskman said it was unfair that she was fired for violating Akima’s “code of conduct."
She said the company was displeased she had used the image as her profile picture on Twitter and Facebook, and told her it violated social media policy and could hurt the company’s reputation as a government contractor, The Guardian reported.
Executives allegedly told the marketing and communications specialist that her actions could cost the company future contracts, according to The Washington Times.
Briskman complained that her social media pages do not mention her employer, and that the incident happened on her own time. She also told The Guardian that another employee had written a profane insult about someone on Facebook, but had been allowed to keep his job after deleting the post and being reprimanded.
Briskman sees herself as a hero.
“I don’t know that it’s all about me. I mean, some people have compared that picture to Tiananmen Square and I think that might be a bit of a reach … I wasn’t standing in front of three tanks and I wasn’t putting a flower in a military guy’s rifle like that one flower child picture that’s fairly famous. But having said that, someone said to me, ‘You don’t see it because you’re in it. You don’t see it but it is that,’” she told The Guardian.
While many are celebrating what they see as Briskman’s act of “persistence,” plenty of people believe she got what she deserved, even lumping her in with others famous for disrespecting the United States.
Virginia has “at will” employment laws, meaning private-sector employers can fire people for any reason, which includes being the featured performer in a viral "screw-you" to the President of the United States if the employer is a government contractor.
Briskman already has received at least one job offer via social media.
Porn company xHamster put an open offer on Twitter for her to join their marketing and social media team, following the long tradition of adult entertainment companies trying to catch a ride on pop culture events, Fortune reported.