Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Saturday officially became the first American victim of a British trend of dumping milkshakes on far-right figures.
Gaetz was leaving a town hall he had just hosted in Pensacola, Florida, when a milkshake came flying from a crowd of protesters and hit the GOP lawmaker.
Matt Gaetz got milkshaked in Pensacola pic.twitter.com/yqz3bPgjw5
— jordan (@JordanUhl) June 1, 2019
Local ABC News affiliate WEAR ABC 3 reported that a woman named Amanda Leigh Kondrat’yev was arrested and charged with battery later that day for the attack.
According to the Pensacola News Journal, Kondrat’yev ran against Gaetz in 2016 and accepted a debate with him during the campaign about taking down a Christian cross in Pensacola’s Bayview Park (the debate never came into fruition).
“Clearly it takes more than a drink to slow down our great team,” Gaetz tweeted in response to a report on Kondrat’yev’s arrest.
Gaetz’ milkshaking echoes that of Brexit leader Nigel Farage, who was showered with a Five Guys milkshake almost two weeks ago as he was campaigning in Manchester. Two other British far-right figures met the same fate in May, one of whom was attacked no less than four times in one week (read our Primer about these icy protests here).
Why did Gaetz prompt the milkshake trend to hop over to this side of the Atlantic? Krondrat’yev, the alleged attacker, hasn’t publicly stated her exact motives, but given Gaetz’ record of being President Donald Trump’s biggest cheerleaders on immigration and the Russia probe, it’s not hard to see why the Republican congressman would eventually end up wearing ice cream.
Gaetz complained on Sunday that Tampa Bay Times reporter Craig Pittman had tweeted a blog post “glorifying” the incident.
“Yet another example of the MSM truly becoming an #EnemyOfThePeople,” Gaetz seethed, echoing Trump’s repeated attack against the press.
.@tampabaytimes reporter shares blog glorifying assault @ town hall event attended by 250+ citizens.
Yet another example of the MSM truly becoming an #EnemyOfThePeople.
Will the great “paper of record” or other reporters call this out? I’m not holding my breath. Or my tongue. https://t.co/PIijOLqPiB
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) June 2, 2019