'I don’t regret it': how Juli Briskman went from giving Trump the finger to winning an election thumbnail

‘I don’t regret it’: how Juli Briskman went from giving Trump the finger to winning an election

Two years ago, Juli Briskman made headlines when she gave the finger to Trump as she cycled alongside the president’s motorcade in Virginia. The marketing company she worked for swiftly fired her. (She sued them.)
She couldn’t have imagined it at the time but Briskman, 52, has just won a local election – and she credits the incident for motivating her to run for office.
I catch up with her on the phone to talk about her victory. Briskman starts by reminiscing about the morning of Saturday 28 October 2017, a day like any other. She was aching from running a marathon the week before, but forced herself out of the door for a bike ride.
As she cycled up the Lowes Island Boulevard by Trump’s golf course in Virginia, she saw the motorcade on the left. “I knew it was him – he’s there all the time,” she says. That was just one of the things that annoyed her about him: “There were all these crises happening in our country and he was just off golfing all the time.”
Her temperature rose as she thought of his presidential record. She was still reeling from his comments over Charlottesville (that there were “fine people on both sides”); Puerto Rico still didn’t have power after Hurricane Maria laid waste to the island, and Obamacare was being dismantled.
“All of those frustrations just welled up inside me and I decided to express that toward him and his motorcade,” she says. It was more than just a fleeting moment of anger: Briskman says she rarely uses the middle finger, and would never make the gesture at another former president: “I have great respect for them, though I didn’t necessarily vote for them.”
She wouldn’t even do it to an unruly driver in her car: “I’m always afraid they might have a gun!”
Why did she feel she had to do that right there, right t
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