The identity of the “plaid shirt guy” from Donald Trump’s Montana rally has been revealed. He’s a high schooler named Tyler Linfesty, who said he didn’t want to fake being enthusiastic for the president.
The teenager found viral fame this week during a Trump campaign rally in Montana as he made funny faces behind the president, looking incredulous as some of Trump’s more incoherent statements. As the Billings Gazette reported, the high school senior had applied for the tickets and learned that he would be getting VIP seating, so he decided to make the most of it.
Linfesty said he didn’t go to the event with the intention of making a scene, but couldn’t help himself while listening to Trump.
“I didn’t really have a plan,” Linfesty said. “I was just going to clap for things I agreed with and not clap for things I didn’t agree with.”
Linfesty ended up making a series of puzzled faces while Trump spoke, and many on social media took notice. They dubbed the teen “plaid shirt guy” and video clips of his reactions went viral online.
This one has my vote for GIF of the Year. ????????????????
Plaid shirt dude is all of us.
— Holly Figueroa O'Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) September 7, 2018
this was one of my favorites ‘we’ve picked up a lot of support’ plaid shirt guy ‘HAVE YOU!??’ pic.twitter.com/omM7i8zwPh
— Katie Moeser (@IamKatieMoe) September 7, 2018
The show didn’t last very long, however. Linfesty, who was there with two other friends from his school, was noticeably replaced as a young and attractive Trump supporter moved in to take his place. Within minutes, another attractive young supporter joined her and asked both of Linfesty’s friends to move, even though they hadn’t made any faces.
Linfesty said there wasn’t much explanation about why he was kicked out, though he had a good idea.
“They didn’t really tell me anything. I think I know why they removed me, before they really they told us we had to be enthusiastic and I wasn’t doing that because I wasn’t enthusiastic,” he told CNN. “I wasn’t happy about what he was saying.”
After he was removed from the prime seating just behind Trump and in full view of the cameras, Linfesty said Secret Service members escorted him into a small room where they sat him down and asked for identification. After about 10 minutes, they told him that he had to leave the arena. Linfesty said they were polite about the entire affair.
While he may have been kicked out of the event, Tyler Linfesty has since gotten plenty of attention and done interviews with a number of national news outlets.
Found and interviewed the 17-year-old who became known as "Plaid Shirt Guy" for trolling Trump on live TV with puzzled faces. https://t.co/4fT9doZCN9
— Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) September 7, 2018
The moment of viral fame has also stretched on for Tyler Linfesty, who said the other students at his school are calling him “plaid shirt guy” now.