On Tuesday morning, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey received a text from his staff informing him that Twitter’s loudest—and most powerful—troll, Donald Trump, was tweeting about him.
“Someone please tell the Radical Left Mayor of Minneapolis that he can’t price out Free Speech,” Trump wrote. “Probably illegal!”
This came after Minneapolis’ Target Center threatened to to cancel the president’s “Keep America Great” rally if he didn’t cough up a $530,000 security fee ahead of the event. (The Trump campaign has stiffed the local fire and police departments of at least 10 cities who have hosted his stump speeches to the tune of $840,000, according to the Center for Public Integrity.)
In public, Mayor Frey played it cool, responding in his own tweet, “Yawn… Welcome to Minneapolis where we pay our bills, we govern with integrity, and we love all of our neighbors.”
But in an interview with The Daily Beast on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in Judaism, Minneapolis’ second Jewish mayor told The Daily Beast the past 24 hours have brought in a wave of hate from Trump supporters.
“I’ve received everything from anti-Semitic rhetoric to threats, and it it’s disconcerting to say the least,” Frey said. His wife, community organizer and lobbyist Sarah Clarke, has not been immune to the ugliness either.
According to Frey, “Someone commented that she was trying to hide her identity because she has a different last name from me. It’s not hiding her identity, that’s championing her own identity. She does exceptional things and [a woman] can support her partner without being synonymous with him.”
The 38 year-old professional runner-turned-politician has led the Twin City since 2017. After a gunman killed 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last year, Frey wrote on Twitter about seeing “a disturbing rise in anti-Semitism rhetoric” since Trump’s election.
But it will not deter him. Frey still sees his adopted home, where he has spent the last decade, as “a city built on inclusion and diversity.”
“To the extend that Trump tries to divide us, our community will stand by one another,” Frey said, adding “As a mayor, you’re not fully doing your job unless you’re pissing a chunk of people off.”
It’s not all angry mobs sliding into Frey’s mentions, too. To his delight, many Democrats have supported the mayor not just for his politics, but also his looks.
“Pleased to meet you, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey,” blogger Jason Adams tweeted, alongside four photos showing the civil servant very much resembling Timothée Chalamet playing Justin Trudeau in a biopic from 10 years in the future.
In one image that can only be described as stock “inspirational politician,” the mayor stumps behind a microphone in a suit (sans jacket, sleeves cuffed) as a group of fashionable young people smile and clap.
Another newly minted Frey fan responded to Trump’s tweets with, “Thank you for [bringing] my attention to Jacob Frey so now I know how hot and amazing he is.” Another simply opined: “Mayor Jacob Frey is hot, cheekbones for days.”
The LGBTQ news site Queerty helpfully gathered Frey’s “hunkiest” Instagrams, including the mayor taste-testing “clean energy beer,” and celebrating Pride in a tank top and jorts.
“I love the love, and I use it as armor,” Frey said. “I’m an extrovert. I love people. I love people even more when they’re nice to me.”
His jorts have become somewhat prolific, with Frey wearing them for a photo Men’s Health ran in a profile of the mayor published last month.
“The infamous jean shorts,” Frey calls them. “I think they’re probably Levi’s, but I’m not sure. I have a couple of different pairs now, and you roll them at a different level for different occasions.” For Men’s Health, they grazed the knee. He let loose at Twin Cities Pride and rolled them up to his mid-thighs.
“I basically have three outfits at this point,” Frey admitted. “Shirt and tie, running outfit, and then jean shorts. They might look a bit ratty, but they’re comfortable at this point.”
And Frey, who runs about five times a week and enjoys “different body weight exercises like pushups,” can pull them off. He favors tightly tailored suits, like the ones he wore while singing “Winter Wonderland” at a holiday event in 2017.
While Frey hasn’t quite hit gay icon status yet, the fact that most of the good-humored thirstiness comes from members of the LGBTQ community is not lost on him. His first political pet project was the Big Gay Race, which began in 2011 and raised money for a group that supported marriage equality.
“I’ve had the honor of supporting LGBT people, and I’m honored that they support me back,” Frey said. “It’s flattering. I love ’em.”
Frey’s swooping, matinee idol mane has earned him comparisons to Justin Trudeau, and he’s not mad about it: “Trudeau’s got fabulous hair, so I take that as a big compliment.” But just know one thing: Frey’s is real, damn it.
As the mayor recalled, “I was on the street a little while ago, and somebody yelled out, ‘Hey Jacob Frey!’” He turned around, thinking he would greet a supporter.
Instead the man yelled out, “I hate you and your fake Superman curls.” Caught off guard, all the mayor could think of was to yell back, “It’s not fake!”