A mystery woman stole the show at President Donald Trump’s NBC News town hall in Miami on Thursday.
She had Trump’s back: The dark-haired woman, wearing a red face mask and red skirt, was visible over Trump’s left shoulder during most of the hourlong NBC News broadcast.
- She continually nodded as the president spoke and sometimes shook her head in apparent disapproval at aggressive questioning by the moderator, “Today” show co-host Savannah Guthrie.
- At one point, the woman even appeared to flash Trump a thumbs-up sign.
It was all too much for many viewers in the news media and on the left, some of whom were already upset NBC News had agreed to host the town hall after Trump refused to participate in a virtual debate.
Former “Today” co-host Katie Couric complained the woman’s nodding was “very distracting.”
Tom Nichols, a senior adviser to an anti-Trump group founded by former Republicans, became fixated on the woman, tweeting about her some 30 times during and after the town hall.
- Nichols called the woman a “nodding bobble head” and faulted NBC News for allegedly letting the Trump campaign “plant” her in the audience to bewitch him and others.
Documentary director Liz Garbus said, “I’m feeling a lot of rage about this” woman nodding.
- Garbus also acknowledged some shame about watching Trump, as opposed to Biden’s overlapping ABC News town hall in Philadelphia.
Trump supporters, meanwhile, were immediately smitten with the woman, praising her beauty and good judgement.
Fox News contributor Dan Bongino declared of her: “The hero we all needed today!”
The #NoddingWoman is the Silent Majority,” said Charlie Spiering, Breitbart News’ White House correspondent, using a hashtag that was trending on Twitter.
Actress Kirstie Alley was among those who gave credit to the woman for supporting Trump in what she, like the president and others, deemed an unfairly hostile forum.
Who’s that lady?: The mystery woman was later identified by the Miami Herald as Mayra Joli, an immigration lawyer, five-time beauty queen and Trump supporter who ran as independent for Congress in Miami in 2018.
After the town hall, Joli greeted the president outside the venue, the Pérez Art Museum, telling him she is a proud Dominican-born American.
- “We have your back!” Joli said, according to a video she posted to Facebook. “You see, you see you are the best.”
- “I appreciate all the support,” Trump replied.
- “Don’t test my f*cking patience,” she advised.