A woman claiming to be a Univision journalist praised Vice President Kamala Harris at a press conference in Mexico on Tuesday, then was denounced by the network as “not part of this media organization” .
The true identity of the woman named Maria Fernanda was unclear and the White House said it was investigating. But what was clear was that a person claiming to be a journalist was allowed to attend a press conference with the vice president and Univision wanted nothing to do with her.
“Let it be clear to everyone that Ms. Maria Fernanda Reyes is not part of this media organization,” tweeted Daniel Coronell, news president of Univison.
Red flags were raised on Tuesday with the alleged journalist’s question to Harris at a press conference following her meeting with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
“Thank you, Madam Vice President,” the woman began after an announcer introduced her as Maria Fernanda of Univision. “For me, it’s an honor because I was able to vote for the first time as a nationalized citizen. I voted for you.
She then asked Harris what she “would say to these women, these mothers and also the women of color on both sides of the border, the women farmers, many of whom I see every day as a message of hope, but also like what will you do for them in the years to come?
Harris thanked her and answered the question, but an uproar quickly followed on Twitter. True reporters from media outlets like the Los Angeles Times and Real Clear Politics pointed to the unusual nature of the praise leading up to the question.
Harris spokesperson Symone Sanders said his team would investigate:
As if the whole situation couldn’t get more bizarre, Univision has a reporter named Maria Fernanda Lopez. The reporter, who appears to be based in Miami, tweeted Tuesday night that she was not in Mexico at the time and was not the person who made the “unethical comment” to the vice-president.
In response to HuffPost’s request for further comment, Univision responded, “The person is in no way affiliated with Univision.”
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