Woman Fired For Flipping Off Donald Trump's Motorcade

A photo of Juli Briskman giving the middle finger to the president went viral. Her employer was not pleased.

WASHINGTON ― You may have seen this photo of President Donald Trump’s motorcade winding down a wooded road last week as a woman on a bicycle pedaled by ― giving the middle finger to Trump.

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI via Getty Images

The picture, snapped by a White House photographer traveling with the president as he left his golf course in Sterling, Va., went viral almost immediately. News outlets picked up the story when it appeared in a White House pool report. Late-night talk show hosts told jokes about the encounter and people on social media began hailing the unidentified woman as a “she-ro,” using the hashtag #Her2020.

The woman’s name is Juli Briskman. Her employer, government contractor Akima LLC, wasn’t so happy about the photo. They fired her over it.

In a Saturday interview with HuffPost, Briskman, a 50-year-old mother of two, said she was stunned that someone had taken a picture of her giving Trump the middle finger. 

As the photo circulated online, Briskman decided to tell Akima’s HR department what was happening when she went to work on Monday. By Tuesday, her bosses called her into a meeting and said she had violated the company’s social media policy by using the photo as her profile picture on Twitter and Facebook.

“They said, ‘We’re separating from you,‘” said Briskman. “Basically, you cannot have ‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things in your social media. So they were calling flipping him off ‘obscene.’”

Briskman, who worked in marketing and communications at Akima for just over six months, said she emphasized to the executives that she wasn’t on the job when the incident happened and that her social media pages don’t mention her employer. They told her that because Akima was a government contractor, the photo could hurt their business, she said.

Virginia is an employment-at-will state, meaning employers can fire people anytime and for any reason. But Briskman said what’s been particularly infuriating is that a male colleague kept his job after recently posting lewd comments on his Facebook page that featured Akima LLC as his cover photo. She said this colleague was reprimanded for calling someone “a fucking Libtard asshole” on Facebook, but was allowed to delete the post and keep his job.

“How is that any less ‘obscene’ than me flipping off the president?” she asked. “How is that fair?”

Akima did not respond to requests for comment via email and phone.

Someone posted this graphic on Juli Briskman's Facebook page after she flipped off the president's motorcade. Briskman was amused.
Juli Briskman

Asked what she was thinking when she saw Trump’s motorcade roll up next to her, Briskman said it was a gut reaction to flip him off.

“He was passing by and my blood just started to boil,” she said. “I’m thinking, DACA recipients are getting kicked out. He pulled ads for open enrollment in Obamacare. Only one-third of Puerto Rico has power. I’m thinking, he’s at the damn golf course again.”

“I flipped off the motorcade a number of times,” she added.

Briskman, a Democrat, said she plans to look for a new job with an advocacy group that she believes in, like Planned Parenthood or PETA.

Despite getting fired, she said she has no regrets about the attention her public show of displeasure with Trump received. In fact, she said she’s happy to be an image of protest that resonates with many Americans.

“In some ways, I’m doing better than ever,” she said. “I’m angry about where our country is right now. I am appalled. This was an opportunity for me to say something.”

UPDATE: 11:54 a.m. Monday ― Akima’s website went down later Monday. Here’s a screenshot.

UPDATE: 11:41 a.m. Tuesday ― Briskman’s friends have started a GoFundMe campaign to help her raise money while she looks for a new job.

 
Women Protesting Throughout American History
1909(01 of 71)
Two Garment Workers Picketing, circa 1909. (credit: Universal History Archive via Getty Images)
1912(02 of 71)
America suffragette parade in New York circa 1912. (credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
1912(03 of 71)
Mrs Raymond Robbins and a group of women suffragists in front of the Coliseum at the time of the Republican National Convention, Chicago, Illinois, 1912. The Coliseum was located at 1513 South Wabash Avenue. Robbins is holding a pennant that reads: 'Votes for women.' From the Chicago Daily News collection. (credit: Chicago History Museum via Getty Images)
1913(04 of 71)
Members of the National American Woman Suffrage Association marching with a banner which publicizes their '1000 branches organized in 38 states' at the New York Suffragette Parade on May 3, 1913. (credit: Paul Thompson/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
1918(05 of 71)
Suffragettes hold up banner in front of a building that has an architrave sign of the National Woman's Party circa 1918. (credit: Buyenlarge via Getty Images)
1919(06 of 71)
Lucy Branham, Suffragette, at Rally, Washington DC, USA, circa 1919. (credit: Universal History Archive/Getty Images)
1920(07 of 71)
Boston women pickets are centering their drive to prevent the export of coal to that England on Sep. 22, 1920. Three of the women pickets are shown patrolling the waterfront in East Boston. The picketing is designed, the leaders said, to thwart the effort of Lloyd George to import 150,000,000 tons of coal from America to England thus breaking the strike of British Coal Miners. (credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
1937(08 of 71)
American police use tear gas against women pickets at the Newton Steel Company, Monroe, Michigan on June 10, 1937. (credit: New York Times Co. via Getty Images)
1935(09 of 71)
Unemployed, single women protesting the job placement of married women before themselves at the Emergency Relief Administration headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts June 24, 1935. (credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
1938(10 of 71)
Over three thousand Spanish American women, representing 20,000 members of the united Committees of Spanish Women in America arrived by special train in Washington today to publicize the plight of Spain's women and children and urge our government to revoke the embargo government of Spain circa 1938. Photo shows the sympathizers marching to the State Department and the white House with hopes of seeing the president and the Secretary of State. In the background can be seen the Capitol. (credit: George Rinhart via Getty Images)
1946(11 of 71)
To protest against the rising prices, the GI's widows demonstrate on 5th Avenue, 1946 in New York City, United States. (credit: Keystone-France via Getty Images)
1946(12 of 71)
Retail strike against Sears by clerks in Chicago, Illinois, USA, circa 1946. (credit: Jonathan Kirn/Corbis/Getty Images)
1947(13 of 71)
Employees of the Arthur Murray Dance Studios picket in a conga line before the dance studio offices today, May 7 in protest against Murray's alleged refusal to recognize Local 16, United Office and Professional Workers of America, CIO in New York on May 7, 1947. (credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
1949(14 of 71)
Two housewives in gay blue bonnets, Mrs. J.C. Alicoate (L) of Miami, and Mrs. Arthur Hebb, Jr. of Baltimore, add their bit towards the fight for repeal of the tax on oleomargarine. They parade with their signs near the Capitol in Washington, D.C. on March 3, 1949. (credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
1951(15 of 71)
American housewives demonstrate against the high price of meat, on March 14, 1951 in the streets of Philadelphia. (credit: - via Getty Images)
1954(16 of 71)
Negro delegates from several states parade with signs in front of the White House to protest the mob slaying of four negroes in Georgia recently in Washington, D.C circa 1954. The picketers were mostly women and they carried on their demonstration in an orderly manner, letting their signs tell their story. (credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
Circa 1960s(17 of 71)
Picture shows people picketing outside of the White House in protest of the US involvement with Cuba. The woman in the foreground is holding a sign plainly stating her point, 'Don't invade Cuba'. Undated photo circa 1960s. (credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
1961(18 of 71)
A group of women outside the Russian Mission to the United Nations in New York City protest the testing of nuclear arms on Nov. 1, 1961. They are part of the Women's Strike for Peace, a one-day demonstration by American women in many cities throughout the United States. (credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
1963(19 of 71)
A full length portrait of a woman holding up a poster and demonstrating outside a Police Station, Gwynn Oak, Maryland, July 1, 1963. (credit: Afro Newspaper/Gado via Getty Images)
1963(20 of 71)
African American woman being carried to police patrol wagon during demonstration in Brooklyn, New York circa 1963. (credit: Dick DeMarsico/World Telegram and Sun/Universal History Archive/Getty Images)
1965(21 of 71)
Denver members of Women's League for International Peace and Freedom display sing of protest, photo left. They're Mrs. John Gilmore, left, and Mrs. Caswell Silver on Dec 10, 1965. (credit: George Crouter via Getty Images)
1965(22 of 71)
Alabama State troopers 'frisk' Negro youths arrested during demonstrations here prior to boarding them on buses. More than 130 were arrested in Marion, AL on Feb. 5, 1965. (credit: UPI/Bettmann/Getty Images)
1965(23 of 71)
The House of Representatives met today to affirm seating of its Mississippi members, as Civil Rights demonstrators massed in silent support of their claim that the State's elections were illegal because blacks were barred from the polls August 17, 1965. Three members of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party's contestants for the state's five seats hold a telegram from Speaker John McCormick granting them permission to take seats on the House floor during the debate. They are, left to right: Fannie Lou Hamer, Victoria Gray, and Annie Devine. (credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
1967(24 of 71)
Demonstrators representing the 'Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam,' jam to the barred main gate of the White House today in Washington, D.C. on May 17, 1967. The group was led by Mrs. Martin Luther King (center) and Dr. Benjamin Spock (glasses, directly behind Mrs. King), who read a statement denouncing the Administration policies in Vietnam. (credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
1967(25 of 71)
Carrying graphically illustrated anti-Vietnamese war posters, members of the 'Women's Strike for Peace' push their way to the doors of the Pentagon Building on Feb. 16, 1967. The main doors of the building were locked for 30 minutes, as the women stormed the doors in an effort to gain entrance. This photo is a close-up of the group. (credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
1967(26 of 71)
In the Boston Marathon, one of two women running in the normally all-male-race, Kathy Switzer, (261) of Syracuse, New York, is being hassled by BAA Marathon Director Bill Cloney, as he attempted to stop her from competing on April 19, 1967. The dark-haired girl did not show up for the physical examination required of all starters, (had she appeared at the starting line, she would never have been allowed to compete). she remained in the race, but was never seen near the finish line. (credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
1968(27 of 71)
Two older women making peace signs during anti-Vietnam war march on April 27, 1968. (credit: Harvey Silver via Getty Images)
1968(28 of 71)
Several women protesters burn what they say are draft cards belonging to friend in a demonstration at the Federal court today in support of Dr. Benjamin Spock. Spock and three others were convicted in Boston Tuesday of conspiring to counsel young men to evade the draft. June 20, 1968. (credit: New York Post Archives via Getty Images)
1968(29 of 71)
Women hold up signs demanding equal rights during a demonstration for women's liberation, New York City, circa 1968. (credit: Hulton Archive via Getty Images)
1969(30 of 71)
A young American woman holds up a sign as she protests for women's rights in front of the Federal Trade Commission headquarters while policemen look on during Richard Nixon's inauguration weekend, Washington, DC, January 18-21, 1969. Her sign reads 'Judge women as people not as wives.' (credit: David Fenton/Getty Images)
1969(31 of 71)
A woman emerges from a crowd of peace demonstrators making peace signs and singing for peace at a demonstration against the Vietnamese War circa 1969. (credit: Wally McNamee via Getty Images)
1969(32 of 71)
A group of young women have arms interlocked as they hold a metal pipe and protest the Vietnam War at Fort Dix, a major transshipment point for American soldiers, Fort Dix, New Jersey, October 12, 1969. (credit: David Fenton via Getty Images)
1969(33 of 71)
Students march with anti-war placards on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, California, 1969. (credit: Archive Photos via Getty Images)
1969(34 of 71)
A woman at a rally in support of the Black Panthers, holding copies of The Black Panther newspaper, New Haven, CT, November, 1969. (credit: David Fenton via Getty Images)
Circa 1970s(35 of 71)
A lone woman stands on a corner protesting unequal pay for women in an unidentified section of Cincinnati, Ohio, circa 1970s. (credit: Cincinnati Museum Center via Getty Images)
1970(36 of 71)
A women's liberation demonstration in New York on Aug. 26, 1970. (credit: Keystone via Getty Images)
1971(37 of 71)
The Women's Rights Movement marked the 51st anniversary of women's suffrage with a series of profile-raising demonstrations here, climaxing in a mass march up 5th Avenue late on August 26, 1971. These three women are among the thousands who marched behind the banners reading 'Equality' and '51% of Everything' of the National Organization for Women. (credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
1973(38 of 71)
U.S. Marshals standing roadblock duty on the access road to Wounded Knee on March 1, 1973, watch as a Native American woman gives a clenched fist salute. On February 27th, the 72 day occupation and protest at the Wounded Knee began between the civil rights group the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the United States government. The AIM took eleven hostages initially, though they were released on March 1st. The protest was a demonstration against injustices by the federal and tribal governments. (credit: Bettmann via Getty Images)
1974(39 of 71)
A woman at a 1974 reproductive rights march in Pittsburgh, PA holds a sign reading 'Defend Women's Right To Choose'. (credit: Barbara Freeman via Getty Images)
1975(40 of 71)
Greek-American women and supporters demonstrate outside the UN to demand that Greek Cypriot refugees be allowed to return to their homes in Turkish- occupied areas of Cyprus. An estimated 5000 women staged a walk to the TIN, in conjunction with similar demonstrations in London, Athens and the Turkish-occupied town of Famagusta, Cyprus. April 20, 1975. (credit: New York Post Archives via Getty Images)
1976(41 of 71)
Older women gather at a demonstration in support of passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, Pittsburgh PA, 1976. Three foreground women's signs read 'Grandmas for the ERA' and 'Grandmas N.O.W.' (National Organization for Women). (credit: Barbara Freeman via Getty Images)
Circa 1977(42 of 71)
Women taking part in a demonstration in New York demanding safe legal abortions for all women circa 1977. (credit: Peter Keegan via Getty Images)
Circa 1978(43 of 71)
A group of young people lying down at a peace demonstration in New York City, circa 1978. (credit: Erika Stone via Getty Images)
1979(44 of 71)
Women Against Pornography (WAP) demonstrators march on Times Square, New York City, USA, 20th October 1979. (credit: Barbara Alper via Getty Images)
1984(45 of 71)
Chanting, 'We're going to stop rape now,' a coalition of women's groups gathered in Downtown Crossing in Boston on April 21, 1984, to protest the treatment of the victim in the highly publicized New Bedford barroom rape trial. The demonstration came one month after four men were convicted of raping a 21-year-old mother on a pool table in Big Dan's tavern in New Bedford. The case drew nationwide publicity when police reported that others in the bar cheered during the attack. The trial was broadcast daily on cable television. (credit: Boston Globe via Getty Images)
1989(46 of 71)
Protestors for and against abortion face off against each other as the court rules on Webster v Reproductive Health Services. Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1989), was a United States Supreme Court decision on July 3, 1989 upholding a Missouri law that imposed restrictions on the use of state funds, facilities, and employees in performing, assisting with, or counseling on abortions in Washington, DC. on July 3, 1989. (credit: Mark Reinstein via Getty Images)
1993(47 of 71)
The March on Washington for Lesbian, Gay, and Bi Equal Rights and Liberation was a large political rally that took place in Washington, D.C. on April 25, 1993. Organizers estimated that 1,000,000 attended the March. The D.C. Police Department put the number between 800,000 and more than 1 million. The National Park Service estimated attendance at 300,000, but their figure attracted so much negative attention that it shortly thereafter stopped issuing attendance. (Photo by Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images) (credit: Mark Reinstein via Getty Images)
1995(48 of 71)
'Ms.' magazine founder Gloria Steinem marches at the Women's Rights rally October 7, 1995 in New York City. The rally protested the arrival of Pope John Paul II, whose conservative doctrine on issues such as abortion, sex, and homosexuality contradict the ideology of many women's rights groups. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Liaison) (credit: Evan Agostini via Getty Images)
1999(49 of 71)
A demonstrator holds a flower that she says is a symbol of hope on Dec. 3, 1999. (credit: Karie Hamilton via Getty Images)
2000(50 of 71)
Kim Gandy (L), from Louisiana, along with other members of tha National Oragnization of Women (NOW) and other feminist groups shout slogans while demonstrating 25 August, 2000 in front of the Republican Party headquarters in Washington, DC. NOW is protesting US presidential candidate George W. Bush's record on women's rights. (credit: MANNY CENETA via Getty Images)
2003(51 of 71)
Pro-abortion activists holding signs stand together in Washington, DC in front of the Supreme Court Building on Jan, 22, 2003. Anti-abortion and pro-abortion activists marched during the March of Life as part of a day long remembrance of the 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling that made abortion legal. (credit: mark peterson via Getty Images)
2003(52 of 71)
WASHINGTON - MARCH 15: Thousands of demonstrators gather near the Washington Monument before marching to the White House March 15, 2003 in Washington, DC. A large anti-war demonstration organized by International ANSWER was held in protest of the possible war with Iraq. (Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images) (credit: Stefan Zaklin via Getty Images)
2004(53 of 71)
Aisha Bain, 25, center, of New York City, joins thousands of fellow protesters in Washington, D.C., Sunday, April 25, 2004 during the 'March for Women's Lives,' a pro-choice rally held on the National Mall. (credit: MCT via Getty Images)
2004(54 of 71)
On Good Friday, immigrants from the Mexican community group the Tepeyac Association demonstrate on Good Friday in front of Federal Plaza demanding equal rights for immigrant workers and criticizing the Bush administration on its immigration policies on April 9, 2004. (credit: Ramin Talaie via Getty Images)
2004(55 of 71)
A woman displays an anti-Bush placard August 30, 2004 in New York City. Dozens of protests are scheduled during the Republican National Convention which is held this week. (credit: Chris Hondros via Getty Images)
2005(56 of 71)
Two anti-war protesters kiss while demonstrating in front of the White House September 26, 2005 in Washington, DC. Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq, was the first of many protesters arrested while demonstrating against the war in front of the White House. (credit: Win McNamee via Getty Images)
2005(57 of 71)
A woman holds a sign at a labor rally to protest the privatization of Social Security 31 March, 2005, in New York. US President George W. Bush has expressed confidence about one of his chief domestic priorities, the partial privatization of the government-run Social Security retirement program, despite polls showing broad skepticism. (credit: DON EMMERT via Getty Images)
2007(58 of 71)
A young woman marches to mark the 40 year anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the the West Bank, in Washington, DC 10 June, 2007. The rally and march from the US Capitol building to the White House was organized by United for Peace and Justice and US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, to protest the 40th year anniversary of Israeli presence in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. (credit: MANNIE GARCIA via Getty Images)
2008(59 of 71)
Anti-war protesters take part in a demonstration titled 'March of the Dead' near Arlington Cemetery's Women's Memorial March 19, 2008 in Arlington, Virginia. Protesters dressed in all black, wearing white skull masks carrying the names and ages of the civilian dead of Iraq, Afghanistan and the U.S. military marched into Washington, DC marking the fifth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq. (credit: Win McNamee via Getty Images)
2011(60 of 71)
A woman puts her hands up in defense during a fight between police and protestors affiliated with Occupy Wall Street in Zuccotti Park on November 17, 2011 in New York City. The day has been marked by sporadic violence, arrests, and injuries sustained by both protesters and police. (credit: Andrew Burton via Getty Images)
2011(61 of 71)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 01: Police arrest a demonstrator affiliated with the Occupy Wall Street movement after she and fellow protesters attempted to cross the Brooklyn Bridge on the motorway on October 1, 2011 New York City. The arrested woman is seen screaming out her name to supporters on the pedestrian bridge above who were recording names of those arrested. This portion of the bridge is not intended for pedestrians and as the marchers attempted to cross, they were stopped midway by police. Hundreds of protesters were arrested. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images) (credit: Mario Tama via Getty Images)
2016(62 of 71)
A woman holds a banner during a protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in New York on July 09, 2016. The gunman behind a sniper-style attack in Dallas was an Army veteran and loner driven to exact revenge on white officers after the recent deaths of two black men at the hands of police, authorities have said. Micah Johnson, 25, had no criminal history, Dallas police said in a statement. (credit: KENA BETANCUR via Getty Images)
2016(63 of 71)
People march in protest against US President-elect Donald Trump in Seattle, Washington on November 14, 2016. Protesters have denounced Trump's often-inflammatory campaign rhetoric about immigrants, Muslims and women. Trump initially denounced the protests against him, saying they were 'incited' by the media but then reversed course and praised the demonstrators for their 'passion for our great country.' (credit: JASON REDMOND via Getty Images)
2017(64 of 71)
Demonstrators hold a signs and a banner while marching during the Women's March of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. Hundreds of demonstrations around the world are planned in conjunction with the Women's March on Washington, which is expected to be the largest inauguration-related demonstration in United States history. (credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images)
2017(65 of 71)
Demonstrators protest on the National Mall in Washington, DC, during the Women's March on January 21, 2017. Hundreds of thousands of protesters spearheaded by women's rights groups demonstrated across the US to send a defiant message to US President Donald Trump. (credit: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS via Getty Images)
2017(66 of 71)
Krista Bouton (R) hugs a friend during the Women's March on Washington on January 21, 2017 in Washington, DC. Large crowds are attending the anti-Trump rally a day after U.S. President Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th U.S. president. (credit: Mario Tama via Getty Images)
2017(67 of 71)
A woman in the crowd chants in opposition to the Muslim Ban in New York city, USA, on 11 February 2017. Protesters marched from Foley Sq to the offices of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to protest what has been called the Muslim Ban. (credit: NurPhoto via Getty Images)
2017(68 of 71)
A woman demonstrates with others in support of immigrants and refugees in Seattle, Washington on January 29, 2017. US President Trump signed the controversial executive order that halted refugees and residents from predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. (credit: JASON REDMOND via Getty Images)
2017(69 of 71)
Protesters fill Pennsylvania Avenue during a rally at the Women's March on Washington, Jan. 21, 2017. (credit: Boston Globe via Getty Images)
2017(70 of 71)
Protesters gather in midtown Manhattan as part of the Women's march vowing to resist US President Trump January 21, 2017 in New York. Hundreds of thousands of protesters spearheaded by women's rights groups demonstrated across the US to send a defiant message to US President Donald Trump. (credit: DON EMMERT via Getty Images)
2017(71 of 71)
A woman is arrested by police officers during a demonstration to protest against President Donald Trump's Executive Order banning immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries and the LGBT community at Stonewall on February 04, 2017 in New York City, US. (credit: Brazil Photo Press/CON via Getty Images)
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