The Woman Who Flipped Off Trump Has Won an Election in Virginia


NOVEMBER 6, 2019

Juli Briskman, who was fired from her job after giving President Trump’s motorcade the middle finger while cycling in 2017, won a seat on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. – Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Northern Virginia – The cyclist who lost her job after giving the middle finger to President Trump’s motorcade has found a new one after running for local office and ousting a Republican supervisor in Loudoun County, Va., on Tuesday.

The cyclist, Juli Briskman, had been active in local politics before, but in October 2017 she lifted that one specific finger to make a point and ended up gaining the national spotlight.

Mr. Trump had just finished a round of golf at his course in Potomac Falls, Va., when his motorcade approached Ms. Briskman, who, from the seat of her bicycle, kept her finger raised as the black S.U.V.s passed — and repeated the gesture when she caught up to them in traffic.

News photographers captured images of her protest, and they quickly spread around the internet. The next week, Ms. Briskman was told she needed to resign from her job as a marketing analyst for Akima, a federal contractor in Herndon, Va., for violating its social media policy by posting the images online.

That same day, she signed up to work at polling stations in the 2017 state elections, she said.

“I couldn’t sit at home anymore and bite my nails and watch Rachel and Anderson,” she said in an interview on Wednesday, referring to the cable news hosts Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and Anderson Cooper of CNN.

In January, when she is scheduled to be sworn in as a new member of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, Ms. Briskman will oversee that same Trump golf course — it is in her district.

“I don’t imagine there’s going to be very much coming across my desk relating to his golf course,” Ms. Briskman said. But, she added of the 800-acre property being in her district, “I take a little bit of enjoyment in that, of course.”

Ms. Briskman, 52, who ran as a Democrat, defeated the incumbent with just over 52 percent of the vote. She campaigned on updating the county’s environmental plan, adding affordable housing and increasing pay for teachers and firefighters. And while knocking on thousands of doors, only sometimes did she mention her famous single-digit gesture.

“I never led with it,” she said. “Voters want to know about the local issues.”

In October 2017, Ms. Briskman said her “blood started boiling” when Mr. Trump’s motorcade began to pass her.

President Trump’s motorcade passing Ms. Briskman in October 2017. – Eric Thayer / NY Times

“I just got angry,” she said then. “I lifted my arm and started flipping him off. I started thinking, You’re golfing again when there is so much going on right now.”

She filed a lawsuit over her firing but it was dismissed by a state judge.

Ms. Briskman said in a tweet on Tuesday night that she was proud to “#FlipVA.” Both chambers of the State Legislature flipped from Republican to Democratic control on Tuesday.

Loudoun County has not been shy about enforcing the law on Mr. Trump’s golf course. In March, the county warned that the golf course could be fined hundreds of dollars for improperly removing trees, but it later concluded the tree clearing had no impact on the floodplain, The Loudoun Times-Mirror reported.

Courtesy/Source: NY Times