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March 11, 2017

Man who tricked Kellyanne Conway while taking selfie says 'it was a political statement'

A Washington D.C. man who's video of him tricking Kellyanne Conway, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, has gone viral since he posted it in early March, has written an essay to explain his actions.

The basic idea? He wasn't "trolling" Conway, who grew up in Camden County. It was a political statement, he wrote.

Alfredo Pelicci, a 28-year-old lawyer, penned the essay published Friday for Huffington Post, where he gives more insight into the eight-second video where Pelicci asks Conway to say "I'm ruining America!" instead of "cheese" while taking a photograph together. Conway responds by saying, "Happy? You must feel really brave saying that."

Here's an excerpt:

My act was an expression of frustration and condemnation. The Trump team has aimed to isolate themselves from accountability and leave us feeling hopeless. My act was an attempt to cut through this hopelessness and make a direct statement to one of the perpetrators responsible for bringing us to this point. They are the ones leaving us with no choice but to communicate our dissatisfaction in unorthodox ways. I am proud that, without the vulgarity and hatred promoted by the Trump team, I seized a rare opportunity to convey a message of disapproval directly to a key advisor who has played a role in shaping this dark political climate. In doing so, I chose a method that would not only capture her attention but also the attention of others, who feel silenced, to demonstrate that we have many ways of speaking up.

Pelicci was at Lupe Verde, an Italian restaurant in the nation's capital earlier this month when he saw Conway with a bodyguard. He said that under a "normal political climate," he wouldn't have approached a political adviser in an attempt to relay the message of disapproval.

"If I had the chance to respond to her in person, I’d say that I feel more heartbroken than brave," he said in his Huffington Post article. "Heartbroken that the Trump team, of which she is a member, has attempted to silence us. We must use any legal, including provocative, means possible to stand up and cut through their attempts to take away our voice."

Pelicci's video, uploaded March 3, has since been viewed more than 500,000 times.

Read Pelicci's full article from the Huffington Post here