The Entire Presidential Arts Committee Handed Trump A Resignation Letter With A Powerful, Secret Message

by Chris Tognotti
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

On Friday, following a week in which both of President Donald Trump's outside business advisory committees decided to disband ― or in Trump's version of the story, were disbanded by him ― yet another presidential committee decided to pull the plug. This time, it was the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, with all members signing onto a mass letter of resignation. And some people have spotted a secret in there, too ― a political easter egg, you might say. Namely, Trump's arts committee's resignation letter contained a secret message, at least that's how it looks. And it's not one the president is likely to enjoy.

So, let's say you're planning to resign en masse from a major presidential committee amid a dire controversy ― in this case, the president's equivocations about the neo-Nazi rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia last week ― and you want to make a big splash in doing so.

So, why not embed a hidden message in your resignation letter that makes the extent of your displeasure obvious? Something that nobody would notice reading it casually, but when noticed is attention-grabbing enough to make the intent plain? In this case, as some eagle-eyed observers have noticed, the message from the president's now-defunct arts and humanities committee appears to be a pretty familiar one: "RESIST."

Basically, as noted in the embedded tweet above, the first letter of each paragraph of the resignation document spelled out ― you guess it ― "resist." That word has been very prominent in the discourse in recent months, embraced by Democrats and progressives of various stripes as a statement of opposition to the Trump administration's policies, and to Trump's own demagogic tendencies.

Of course, it's possible that the whole thing was totally unintentional, a simple coincidence through and through. But when you consider just have statistically unlikely that is ― to write a letter resigning from a controversy and scandal-plagued administration, and to just so happen to start every paragraph with letters that collectively add up to one of the foremost rallying cries of that administration's opponents ― it's not hard to see why people are viewing this as a master class in trolling.

It's made all the more stinging by the name that sits atop the list of members, too ― that of First Lady Melania Trump, who served as honorary chairman of the committee. Whether Trump himself will have a response to this development remains to be seen.