While many balls and galas happen on Inauguration Day in America, the Liberty Ball is the one where the president’s first dance with the new First Lady occurs, and the one that is attended by the political and Hollywood elite. It’s the ball of all balls. And on Friday night, just hours after President Trump took the oath of office, tensions at the Liberty Ball were high, as noted when Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway was reportedly seen punching a man in the face at the Liberty Ball, reports New York Daily News.
Reports of the alleged assault were confirmed by a witness to the Daily News, but first began to surface when FOX Business Network senior correspondent and business commentator Charles Gasparino wrote about the incident in a Facebook post. It was not the only fist fight scuffle at the Liberty Ball, either.
Kellyanne Conway was reportedly stepping in to break up a fight between two tuxedo wearing gents, and when the fight wouldn’t break up, Kellyanne allegedly punched one of the men in the face with a closed fist “at least three times,” reports a “stunned onlooker” to the Daily News.
The Trump camp did not respond to the Daily News request for a comment. Details of the scuffle were posted on Facebook by Fox’s Charles Gasparino who noted two fist fights that occurred at the Liberty Ball. The first one occurred shortly after he met actor Scott Baio at the Liberty Ball.
Scott Baio is a long-time Trump supporter and spoke for him at the Republican National Convention this summer. On that meeting, and first fist fight at the ball, Gasparino wrote the following.
“More detail on my post trump inaugural fun and games: first met my pal Scott baio outside the victory ball. We said hello when a bunch of anarchist thugs began to descend on us screaming ‘hey Chachi are u fascist?’ One made an aggressive move toward us i shoved him away and he said ‘touch me again u little p***k and I’ll smack u’ my response: ‘GFY asshole’ that’s when my producer Brian Schwartz intervened and crisis was averted.”
Scott Baio has confirmed that tensions were high on Inauguration Day.
— Scott Baio (@ScottBaio) January 22, 2017
But a second crisis followed immediately, and that is when the fight when Kellyanne Conway allegedly punched a man occurred. Gasparino continued in his post.
“Part two was even more insane: inside the ball we see a fight between two guys in tuxes and then suddenly out of nowhere came trump adviser Kellyanne Conway who began throwing some mean punches at one of the guys. Whole thing lasted a few mins no one was hurt except maybe the dude she smacked. Now I know why trump hired her. Btw I exaggerate none of this-cg”
— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) January 21, 2017
Comments in response to his post on Facebook by Fox viewers and Facebook posters ranged. One person commented that he has known Kellyanne Conway for years, and was “not at all surprised.” The same person referred to her as “gracious” and “composed” to which he was responded to with incredulity by other readers.
Other comments were cheering Kellyanne on and applauding her fights, while some were flat out referring to the incident as “assault and battery.”
News of this story has just come into the airwaves within the last 24 hours, and Twitter is, of course, having its fun with it. After Kellyanne created some problems for the Trump administration this week with the term “alternate facts,” the Twitterverse is playing on those words in their response to this latest incident.
Richard Spencer wasn't punched, he was Alternate Hugged – Kellyanne Conway pic.twitter.com/OdhQb8yaHi
— Jasper Smith (@Lookin4Serenity) January 23, 2017
The Liberty Ball in America is a long-standing tradition, and with the Freedom Ball are the series of events that note the Official Presidential Inaugural Balls, reports TIME Magazine. There were three balls on this year’s Inauguration Day, with the Liberty Ball and Freedom Ball being open to the public, while the third, The Salute To Our Armed Services Ball, is by invitation only.
The Trump Administration had long held that their Inaugural Balls would be “for the people” and inclusive events, and the most affordable in history. However, the Freedom and Liberty Balls were separated according to who donated the most to Inauguration Day, reports the Intercept.
The Intercept has obtained documents that outline the events of Inauguration Day and the Inaugural Balls and notes that the higher paying donors received a ticket to the Liberty Ball, while the donors that paid 50 dollars attended the Freedom Ball.
The Intercept reports that the Liberty Ball was attended by 8,000 people and was a “more exclusive” affair, while smaller donors were “diverted” to the Freedom Ball. Donors were reportedly divided into categories: Donors over $TBD/Foreign Diplomates/Cabinet Officials and Appointments/US Senators and Congressman/ and Family and Friends.
The Freedom Ball was reportedly divided into the categories of Campaign Staff, Volunteers, Low Dollar Donors, and Supporters. “Mega donors” were not only given a ticket to the Liberty Ball, but also were given special seating with former presidents and members of the United States Supreme Court.
The Liberty Ball also had two VIP sections, with a higher VIP section for those elite, noted as the “VVIP Room” or, Very VIP Room. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry did not make it to the VVIP Room, but was in the VIP section where he was spotted chatting with Caitlyn Jenner.
Attendance to the VIP and VVIP sections of the Liberty Ball was determined by late November, reports the Intercept. A “donor solicitation” document circulated then showing that donors that contributed $1 million to Trump’s Inauguration Day would be purchasing a three-day package, that would include four tickets to an elite “leadership luncheon.”
The leadership luncheon had seats for 600, and was held at Trump International Hotel, the Old Post Office in Washington D.C. on Pennsylvania Avenue just a few blocks down from the White House. The event was catered by employees with email addresses ending with “trumphotels.com” notes The Intercept.
Kellyanne Conway now has Secret Service protection reports The Hill, but did not on the night of the alleged punching incident. She says it is because she receives death threats and has received suspicious packages at her home that include “white substances.” She blames the press for that.
[Feature Image by Matt Rourke/AP Images]