Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made a major statement when he said he wants to build a "big, beautiful" wall between the United States and Mexico at the start of his campaign. Now, one man in New York City may be attempting to make his own "big, beautiful" statement by climbing the real estate mogul's other signature, albeit real-life, imposing structure with — what else? — suction cups Wednesday afternoon. As police react to the bizarre display, America needs to know: Who is the man scaling Trump Tower? And what the heck is his deal?
At about 3 p.m., Manhattanites noticed that a man wearing a black shirt, shorts and a backpack was methodically making his way up the 58-story building that's now the headquarters of Trump's campaign. His stunt attracted a significant response from both local law enforcement officials and fire department, not to mention onlookers in the street and around the world, via the internet. Once he had everyone's attention, the mystery man reportedly identified himself as "Steve from Virginia" and told police he was climbing in order to get Trump's attention.
Well, police shut down several streets around the building, but if "Steve" is actually from Virginia, then Trump is actually campaigning in his home state today, according to his schedule.
Lucky for Trump, he can watch the action live!
It's unclear what message, exactly Steve from Virginia (if that is his real name) wants to convey to the flamboyant, reckless candidate, who on Tuesday seemed to express approval at the idea of his supporters shooting his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
At 2:51 p.m., Twitter user and witness at the scene Jason Chu tweeted that there was a man scaling the tower. ABC News reported that he had seen the man begin his ascent from a lower level roof garden.
The situation is precarious, to say the least, and also quite confounding. Soon after the debacle began, BuzzFeed News reported Brandon Wall tweeted a link to a YouTube video posted August 9, writing that it was an *unconfirmed* video of the man now telling police he's Steve from Virginia. In the minute-long video, called "Message to Mr. Trump (why I climbed your tower)," a man in a black hoodie identifies himself as "an independent researcher seeking a private audience" with Trump "to discuss an important matter."
"I guarantee it is in your interest to honor this request. Believe me, if my purpose is not significant, I would not risk my life pursuing it. The reason I climbed your tower was to get your attention."
Of course, there's no official word on whether the man in the (pretty eerie) video is, in fact, Steve from Virginia, although the Tower-climber did also say that he was doing so to get Trump's attention. At the end of the video, the man encourages viewer to "be sure to get out and vote for Mr. Trump is the 2016 election," which is sure to rub Trump the right way, even if he doesn't meet with this individual.
More to come...