Yesterday afternoon, Jason Leopold, a BuzzFeed investigative journalist who specializes in obtaining government documents through Freedom of Information Act requests, posted a link to about 70 pages of Secret Service records related to the 2017 Women’s March that he’d pried loose after a two-year FOIA process. The documents, it turns out, primarily consist of internal reports showing that the Secret Service spent an inordinate amount of time in the run-up to Donald Trump’s inauguration weekend looking into potential threats of violence made on social media.
Though such Twitter and Facebook threats were levied by both Trump’s supporters and detractors, the ones from the Pro-Trump camp tended to be eerily specific in ways that the anti-Trumpers’ posts were not. For example, the documents show that the Secret Service were alarmed by a Twitter post stating, “Trump can’t say it but I can. We the Bikers for Trump carry guns. We are ex-cops and ex-military. There will be peace. If not peaceful we will shoot.” If such a message, which the Biker for Trump was found to have also posted on his Facebook page, feels familiar, that might be because it’s more or less what Donald Trump said to Breitbart recently in an interview:
I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.
While the records show that there were similarly dire threats made by the left, on the whole they were more fantastical and unrealistic, lacking the eery specificity of the messages levied by the right. The more credible anti-Trump threats that the Secret Service looked into, meanwhile, tended to look something like this:
Let’s zoom out for a second and consider the outline of this situation. What we have here is someone deciding to shame a racist xenophobe politician by throwing eggs at them, and then being suppressed by the state. We don’t know how old the guy who created a meetup.com event to organize a mass egg-throwing at Trump’s motorcade was, so he could have been the age of a boy. A potential Egg Boy, to be exact.
The real Egg Boy, of course, is Will Connelly, a teen who over the weekend smashed an egg on the head of Fraser Anning, the odious Australian politician who rose to internet infamy earlier this month when he responded to the mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, by blaming the violence on “an increasing Muslim presence” in the region. In protest of Anning’s shittiness, Connelly smacked him in the head with an egg during a news conference, leading to a brief scuffle and the subsequent adoration of the entire internet. On Tuesday, Philadelphia 76ers Jonah Bolden and Ben Simmons celebrated Egg Boy’s valor by writing his name on their sneakers in a game against the Charlotte Hornets. Simmons, himself an Australian, shot 11 for 12 from the field and scored a game-high 28 points, helping the 76ers win by four. I refuse to believe this was a coincidence.
Per the Secret Service records, it seems that American Egg Boy was pre-empted by an inquiry from law enforcement. In an interview with the authorities, American Egg Boy “admitted to making the [post] but claimed he had no intention of carrying out his plans.” Which, like, sure, but if the Secret Service had just contacted me and asked if I had been for real about my meetup.com page trying to organize a group of people to throw eggs at Donald Trump’s motorcade, I have no doubt that I’d have lied my ass off and said I was for sure joking.
If it seems silly that the Secret Service would devote resources to something like this, that’s because it is. There’s a reason they stoned people to death in the Middle Ages instead of egging them to death, and that’s because that while eggs kinda look like smooth, round rocks, unlike rocks they are very fragile and have wet stuff inside of them. I’m not a lawyer, but I know my eggs, and I’m pretty sure that egging is not a violent act but instead an act of peaceful political protest. As the writer Karen Geier points out for VICE, throwing food at politicians to embarrass them has been around since ancient Greece.
Though American Egg Boy was thwarted before he could carry out his dastardly plot, I can’t help but wonder how much different Trump’s presidency would have been if, on his very first day at the job, he’d gotten Egg Boy’d. I like to imagine Trump, high on his own fart-smelling hubris, would have rolled down the window of his limo to wave at the crowd only to literally get egg on his face. Would the Republicans in the House and the Senate have stayed with him as long as they have? Or would there have been cracks in the unified front, as when a dozen Republican Senators recently voted to reject his transparently dubious declaration of a National Emergency, even earlier? Would Trump’s naked insecurity and compulsive need for love and praise have shamed him into being less dumbly horrible? That’s probably too much to ask, but doubtless when change is needed and there aren’t very many options on the table, humiliation can motivate otherwise apathetic politicians to do the right thing.
Perhaps this is why the Secret Service took action against American Egg Boy. If you make a prominent person with hateful views look ridiculous in public, you break the facade of legitimacy afforded to them by their office and drastically reduce their ability to be taken seriously ever again. After all, nobody wants to be on the side of the Egged Man. They all want to be with the Egg Boy.