The animated expressions of a Montana high school senior during President Donald Trump’s rally Thursday have gone viral and have earned the teen a new nickname on social media: #plaidshirtguy.
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Tyler Linfesty, 17, attends Billings West High School. His eyebrow-raising, puzzled facial expressions during Trump’s rally at Metra Park was immediately picked up by social media, the Billings Gazette reported.
Linfesty and fellow seniors Erik Hovland and Christian Dunlap were seated behind the president’s right shoulder and eventually were asked to vacate their seats by people they believed were Trump campaign staffers, the newspaper reported.
"I didn't really have a plan," Linfesty told the Gazette. "I was just going to clap for things I agreed with and not clap for things I didn't agree with.
Linfesty said he did not think he would become an internet sensation.
“I don’t think any of us had any idea we were going to be that big on TV, because whenever I see a Trump rally, you see Trump, you see hundreds of people behind him — that’s my experience at least," Linfesty said. "In this case, there were like seven people (on screen). I did not know that I was going to be that big.”
Hovland, who was wearing a red “Make America Great Again” hat at the rally, has been dubbed “MAGA hat girl on social media.”
As the speech progressed, reporters noted that Linfesty pinned a rose emblem representing the Democratic Socialists of America to his right breast.
The trio were escorted from their seats, the Gazette reported.
Linfesty said that as a joke, he gave a copy of “The Communist Manifesto” wrapped in a dust jacket of Trump’s “Art of the Deal” to Secret Service agents and asked to have the president sign it, the newspaper reported.
His request was denied.
"I didn't do it because I'm a communist," Linfesty told the Gazette. "I did it because I thought it was funny as a joke."
“I don’t think we meant to make a joke of the rally or make fun of people there,” Dunlap told the newspaper. “It wasn’t like we were making fun of Trump supporters.”
"They told us while we were sitting there, 'You guys have to keep clapping, you have to smile, you have to look enthusiastic,'" Linfesty said. "I had to be honest in my views."