Twitter’s new favorite person, Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon, found himself in a situation on Wednesday that played out as so many Twitter spats have before: Get criticized, get defended, joke around after with your friends.
Except this time the criticism was coming from the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. — who issued the snarky tweet just two days after his wife was hospitalized for opening an envelope containing a suspicious white powder.
And the jokes? They were coming from Hollywood’s Josh Charles and Mindy Kaling, among others. (Reese Witherspoon has already made her feelings about Rippon known.)
The Twitter thread started Wednesday morning with a post from actor Ike Barinholtz, who was responding to Trump Jr., who himself was responding to a quote from Rippon that the skater didn’t “want my Olympic experience being about Mike Pence.”
(Rippon, the first openly gay man to compete for Team USA at the Winter Olympics, traded words with the vice president in recent weeks over Pence’s anti-LGBT politics.)
Tweeting a link to an article with Rippon’s latest quote, Trump Jr. wrote, “Really? Then Perhaps you shouldn’t have spent the past few weeks talking about him. I haven’t heard him mention you once???”
In truth, Pence did mention Rippon, tweeting directly to him prior to attending the Olympic opening ceremony.
[email protected] I want you to know we are FOR YOU. Don’t let fake news distract you. I am proud of you and ALL OF OUR GREAT athletes and my only hope for you and all of #TeamUSA is to bring home the gold. Go get ‘em!
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) February 8, 2018
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Cue the response from Barinholtz, who was most recently a writer and co-star of Hulu’s The Mindy Project. “Nothing more patriotic than taunting a US Olympic athlete during the Olympics,” he tweeted.
Rippon himself, an active member of the Twitterati, sent Barinholtz back a GIF with the caption “the tea is exceptionally good today,” and in a follow-up told Barinholtz “love you dude” after the latter sent him more support.
That’s when things got … crowded.
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) February 14, 2018
Ike this is huge
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) February 14, 2018
First Kaling jumped in, jokingly riffing on Barinholtz’s new connection with Rippon, a breakout star this Games on social media and on the ice.
“Ike this is huge,” she wrote. “Mindy Adam is my new friend,” Barinholtz replied, “Dave is out.”
“Was Dave ever really ‘in’ tbh?” Rippon added, to which Barinholtz said, “Dave WHO???”
Lastly came The Good Wife‘s Charles, asking, “Who’s Dave?”
Turns out they were referring to Mindy Project writer-producer David Stassen who, of course, joined in as well, followed by another writer-producer on the show, Chris Schleicher.
Adam, please, I’m barely hanging on to these two.
— David Stassen (@davidstassen) February 14, 2018
Wow, just wow, I don’t respond to the text chain for a couple minutes and suddenly you guys move on to a shiny new skater to be your friend. pic.twitter.com/lRR4EuDi8P
— Chris Schleicher (@cschleichsrun) February 14, 2018
Also, if my wife just received an envelope full of poison, I like to think I’d put whiteknighting for Mike Pence on the ol’ back burner for a few days.
— Paul F. Tompkins (@PFTompkins) February 14, 2018
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As the whole conversation unfolded, growing tweet by tweet, Barinholtz wrote, “This is certainly how I saw this morning unfolding,” to which Kaling wondered, “Does Adam like me? I’m in a movie with Oprah.”
Rippon, who helped America earn bronze in the team figure skating competition, will return to the ice later this week in the men’s individual competition.
Trump Jr., meanwhile, has not addressed the matter again.
The Olympics are airing live on NBC. To learn more, visit teamusa.org.