President Donald Trump was losing face while the person behind him was making them.
While Trump railed against “deep state operatives” and praised Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing at a rally Thursday night in Montana, the focus began to shift to 17-year-old Tyler Linfesty. The West Billings high school senior, seated directly behind the president, reacted to Trump’s remarks with a range of animated expressions.
In some instances he appeared to chuckle to himself, other times he appeared shocked. The internet was quick to fall in love, dubbing him “Plaid Shirt Guy,” but event organizers were seemingly less than pleased.
After about 15 minutes, he was approached by a young woman, who informed him she was there to take his place, he told CNN. Another two people followed, and they replaced the friends who accompanied Tyler to the rally.
He believes he was asked to leave because he did not appear happy enough during Trump’s speech.
“Before the rally, they told us you have to be enthusiastic, you have to be clapping, you have to be cheering for Donald Trump and I wasn’t doing that because I wasn’t enthusiastic and I wasn’t happy with what he was saying,” Tyler said, adding event organizers even tried to get his group to wear the classic, red MAGA baseball caps.
“I was not wearing one, as you saw.”
He told KTVQ that Trump was “not necessarily” a bad speaker, citing his ability to fire up crowds, but “the important part is to listen to the content of the speech, like the actual policies he’s suggesting or in favor of.”
The teen, nearly voting age, said he disagreed with most of those policies.
“Those faces were completely genuine. I was not trying to make those faces. Those faces just came out when I heard what he was saying,” Tyler added. “Some stuff I agreed with, some stuff I disagreed with. When I disagreed, it was pretty apparent I’d say.”
Tyler said in the end, Secret Service officers escorted him to a back room, looked at his ID and “very respectfully asked that I leave and not come back.”