She Was Fired After Flipping Off Trump. Now She's A County Supervisor In Virginia Two years after being fired for giving President Trump the finger, Juli Briskman has a new job — a seat on Loudoun County's Board of Supervisors, representing the county where Trump's golf club sits.
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NPR logo She Was Fired After Flipping Off Trump. Now She's A County Supervisor In Virginia

She Was Fired After Flipping Off Trump. Now She's A County Supervisor In Virginia

Though she was active in Loudoun County politics before the now-famous moment, Briskman said her action and what happened after it propelled her to work on Jennifer Wexton's congressional campaign and later to run for office. Courtesy of/Briskman For Supervisor hide caption

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Courtesy of/Briskman For Supervisor

Two years after she was fired for giving President Trump the finger, Juli Briskman has a new job — a seat on the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, representing the county in which Trump's Virginia golf club sits.

Briskman won her election Tuesday night, ousting Republican Suzanne M. Volpe in the process. Her decision to flip off the president in 2017, she says, helped serve as the catalyst that would later lead her to flip her seat to Democratic control.

Briskman was captured in a photo flipping off Trump as she rode a bicycle alongside his motorcade. Back to the camera, her left middle finger raised, Briskman's image quickly went viral on Twitter, drawing a wave of responses across the social media platform. Days after the image circulated online, Briskman told her employer — government contracting firm, Akima — that she was the woman behind the finger and was fired promptly afterward.

Though she was active in Loudoun County politics before that now-famous moment, Briskman said her action and what happened after it propelled her to work at the polls and later on Jennifer Wexton's congressional campaign before she decided to run for office.

Though Briskman acknowledged that the high-profile incident helped her fundraising, she said her campaign wanted to focus on the issues — prioritizing education, the environment and women's issues — and not on her 15 minutes of internet fame.

"I didn't necessarily want to lean on that [viral moment] because voters want to hear you talk about the issues that they care about," she said. "I did hear some people say 'Oh thank God you're a Democrat, I'll vote for you no matter what' and some people were saying 'I can never vote for the Republican Party again based on what's going on in our country.'"

Briskman said she wanted to convey to voters just how deep her roots were in her community, having lived in Loudoun County for 20 years and having been involved in local politics, scouts and the PTA — "the issues that I know about intimately and I know that voters care about," she says.

"If it did come up, the Trump administration, which it did — quite a bit — I did say 'This is who I am, you might know me from this photograph,' " Briskman continued. "And a lot of people did and I think it helped a little bit. But mostly we focused on the local issues and the gap between this current supervisor's values and the values of her district."

In the photo that helped propel her political aspirations, Briskman was riding alongside the president as he traveled back to Washington from his golf club in Sterling, Va. Asked how she feels about representing the district in which Trump's golf club sits, Briskman chuckled.

"That feels great," she said, laughing. "It's just interesting, the irony is fantastic. The reason my photograph was taken is because I was cycling in my community. And his golf course happens to be in my community. It's just awesome, I love the irony, I think it's great."

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