Man Who Smashed Trump's Hollywood Star Says Secret Service High-Fived Him After

In July, Austin Clay pulled a pickaxe from a guitar case and smashed Donald Trump's Hollywood Walk of Fame star. In a new essay for GQ , Clay recounts not just how he did it, but also the surprising aftermath, particularly when the Secret Service came calling.

"Rocks were flying up in my face," Clay told GQ , describing the destruction. The industrial hip hop group Death Grips—"high-energy, ridiculous music. It gave me the energy I needed to tear through the star"—served as a soundtrack. Trump's star has since been replaced.

"I wanted to obliterate the thing, because I thought that would be a statement: We're removing him from the ground, we're removing him from Hollywood, we're removing him from California, we're removing him from the United States."

After destroying Trump's Hollywood star, Clay turned himself in and was out on bail within 24 hours. Three days later, after fielding calls from his pro-Trump mom and, allegedly, Robert De Niro, Clay got another call, this time from the Secret Service.

Clay describes two Secret Service agents visiting his house to interview him about the incident. According to him, it went well. Really well. "They kind of thought it was funny," Clay said. "After we got to talking, one of them gave me a high five."

The administration of President Trump has strained the Secret Service budget, hitting the federal cap on salary and overtime allowances in 2017, forcing congress to pass a special bill lifting caps on the hundreds of hours of overtime pay. Trump's multiple properties, which he visits nearly every weekend, have strained Secret Service resources, particularly when factoring in the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on renting golf carts. Trump's secret service code name is Mogul.

Clay wasn't the first person to destroy Trump's Walk of Fame star. In October 2016, James Lambert Otis, of the Otis Elevator Company Otises, destroyed the star using a sledgehammer shortly after the disclosure of Trump's sexual assault admissions during the taping of Access Hollywood. Otis received three years' probation. Clay has been charged with felony vandalism and could face up to three years in prison if convicted.

"I want to be seen as somebody who saw things going horribly and had to take a stance, before things got even worse than they already were," Clay said. "What needs to happen for political change to arise? I think it takes a dynamic, explosive event."