Solved: Mystery woman who asked Kamala simpering question is an entrepreneur not a reporter

A mystery woman misidentified as a reporter after asking Kamala Harris a simpering question during a press conference has been revealed to be an entrepreneur.  

The woman, introduced by Harris’ press secretary Symone Sanders as ‘Maria Fernanda from Univision’, was one of only five people called on for questions at the Mexico City event on Tuesday. 

‘Thank you, Madam Vice President,’ the woman responded as she stood up. ‘For me, it’s an honor because I actually got to vote for the first time as a naturalized citizen. I voted for you.’ 

‘My question is, what would you say to these women, those mothers and also women of color on both sides of the border, farmers, many of them who I see every day as a message of hope but also as – What will you do for them in the next coming years?’ 

Harris nodded and said: ‘That’s a great question.’ 

The question was roundly mocked online for its gushing tone, prompting a clarification from Univision that the woman was not one of their reporters.

Late on Tuesday, Fox News revealed that the woman was in fact a San Francisco Bay-area entrepreneur named Maria Fernanda Reyes.   

Kamala Harris was in Mexico City on Tuesday, where she was questioned by a woman who was incorrectly introduced as a Univision reporter

Kamala Harris was in Mexico City on Tuesday, where she was questioned by a woman who was incorrectly introduced as a Univision reporter

Univision has a correspondent named Maria Fernanda, but her surname is Lopez. She is based out of Miami and did not attend the Mexico City event, where Univision was actually represented by reporter Jesica Zermeño.

Reyes told Fox News that she was in Mexico City on Tuesday working with farmers when she was asked by fellow entrepreneurs to attend Harris’ event. 

She said everyone in attendance was asked if they would be interested in asking a Harris a question, and that she did not correct the moderator because she was so surprised to be called on. 

She also expressed surprise at the reaction to her question, which made headlines in English and Spanish-language media.

Everyone’s trying to twist it for their own agenda,’ she told Fox News. ‘I don’t care. I asked a question… If people don’t like it, fine.’

Reyes added that she was not especially interested in politics, but wants to see conditions improve in Mexico and Central America.

She is the founder of the AdoptaHero campaign, which aims to supply frontline workers in Mexico with medical equipment and PPE.

She was interviewed by Univision Noticias in July 2020 regarding the campaign.

On Reyes’ LinkedIn page, she says: ‘I am a fourth generation farmer and care about agriculture, food waste and supporting rural farmers, especially women rural farmers across the world.

‘I’m on a journey to empower farmers to reduce food loss and food waste through technologies and education.’ 

Prior to Reyes’ comments, Univision clarified that she was not one of its reporters.    

‘In Mexico an individual which has no association with @Univision claimed to be a reporter for @UniNoticias in order to ask the @VP a question and to compliment,’ said Daniel Coronell, Univision’s president of news in a post on Twitter.

‘Let it be clear to everyone that Ms. Maria Fernanda Reyes is not part of this media organization.’

Jesica Zermeño, the real correspondent for Univision in Mexico City, was in the room at the time that Reyes was called on to ask a question

Jesica Zermeño, the real correspondent for Univision in Mexico City, was in the room at the time that Reyes was called on to ask a question

Univision’s Maria Fernanda Lopez, also addressed the ‘misunderstanding’.

‘I have never traveled to Mexico, I was in Miami during the incident where Maria Fernanda REYES claimed to be a reporter of @UniNoticias asked @KamalaHarris saying an unethical comment’. 

Jose Zamora, Senior Vice President for Univision News, told DailyMail.com that Univision’s correspondent in Mexico City, Jesica Zermeño, was in the room at the time.

Photographs of her at the same press conference have been shared online.  

‘The person has no relationship with Univision,’ Zamora told DailyMail.com.

‘No idea who she is. And correct, our Mexico correspondent Jesica Zermeño was there.’   

Harris’s press secretary Sanders told DailyMail.com on Tuesday night that they were looking into the incident, amid questions over how Reyes was able to get so close to the world’s most powerful woman. 

In response to Cornell’s clarification, Sanders tweeted: ‘Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are looking into this.’ 

The Harris team has yet to comment on the incident following Reyes’ identification.

Security at press conferences involving the president and vice president is usually high, with multiple layers of accreditation required.

Serious questions will be asked as to how Reyes managed to attend.

Some said the incident drew parallels with a December 2008 press conference in Baghdad, when an Iraqi journalist, Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at then-U.S. President George W. Bush.

Al-Zaidi shouted at the outgoing president: ‘This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog.’ 

He served nine months in prison, and now works for a Lebanese television station. 

Harris was in Mexico City on Tuesday to meet with Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, Mexico’s president.

She hit back at questions about when she would visit the southern border on Tuesday, saying it was ‘short-sighted’ to focus on the symptoms and not the root causes of the migrant crisis as she wrapped up her visit to Guatemala and Mexico.

She was dogged throughout her trip with questions about when she would go to the border with Mexico to see for herself the scale of the problem. And she let her frustrations show.

At a news conference in Mexico City she shrugged off the idea.

‘I think it’s short-sighted, for any of us who are in the business of problem solving to suggest we’re only going to respond to the reaction as opposed to addressing the cause,’ she said.

Conservatives have sought to saddle Harris with problems at the border ever since President Joe Biden asked her to take the lead in diplomatic efforts to stem the flow of migrants.

They have dubbed her the ‘border czar,’ criticized her for not holding a press conference on the issue and demanding that she visit the Mexico-U.S. frontier.

For weeks she has sought to portray her job as one that was focused on addressing the root causes of migration – from violence to corruption and poverty. 

She stuck to the themes during her two-day trip as she spelled out her approach.    

‘I also believe that if you want to fix a problem. You have to go to where the problem exists,’ she said in Mexico City, some 500 miles from the border.

‘If you want to address the needs of a people, you must meet those people. You must spend time with those people.’

And she said, as a politician from California, she was well aware of the issues at the border. 

Vice President wrapped up her two-day trip to Guatemala and Mexico with a news conference at a Mexico City hotel. Questions about when she would visit the southern border dogged her during the trip but she responded by saying it was 'short-sighted' to focus on the 'reaction' and not the 'cause' of a problem

Vice President wrapped up her two-day trip to Guatemala and Mexico with a news conference at a Mexico City hotel. Questions about when she would visit the southern border dogged her during the trip but she responded by saying it was ‘short-sighted’ to focus on the ‘reaction’ and not the ’cause’ of a problem

Speaking to reporters in Mexico City, Harris said: 'I also believe that if you want to fix a problem. You have to go to where the problem exists. She was due to return to Washington D.C. on Tuesday evening

Speaking to reporters in Mexico City, Harris said: ‘I also believe that if you want to fix a problem. You have to go to where the problem exists. She was due to return to Washington D.C. on Tuesday evening

Harris' first international trip included stops in Guatemala and Mexico, 1,308 and 582 miles away respectively from the Rio Grande, where families risk their lives every day trying to cross into the U.S.

Harris’ first international trip included stops in Guatemala and Mexico, 1,308 and 582 miles away respectively from the Rio Grande, where families risk their lives every day trying to cross into the U.S.

Earlier she snapped at reporters for allowing the border crisis to overshadow her first international trip. 

‘Why not go to the border, as well, so you do see the full complexity?’ a reporter asked Harris as she took some questions following a bilateral meeting with Lopez Obrador.

‘Listen, I’ve been to the border before and I’ll go again,’ she said with an awkward laugh.

‘But when I’m in Guatemala, dealing with root causes, I think we should have a conversation about what’s going on in Guatemala,’ she said – even though she is in Mexico.  

Harris held bilateral talks with Lopez Obrador during her trip to Mexico on Tuesday. The duo discussed stopping mass immigration from Central America by way of migrating through Mexico.

The vice president said the ‘bottom line’ was that the administration had to apply ‘equal weight’ to what’s going on at the border and ‘root causes’ in Northern Triangle nations.

Republicans argue, however, that there is not equal attention since she nor President Joe Biden have gone to the southern border to see the humanitarian crisis first hand.

Harris, however, is visiting Guatemala and Mexico to see for herself what sort of ‘root causes’ the U.S. can help address there.

Ahead of her bilateral meeting with Lopez Obrador, Harris said the U.S. and Mexico are ’embarking on a new era’.  

When asked if Lopez Obrador would commit to increasing border security in Mexico, he said: ‘We are very pleased to have her here and we will touch on that subject but always addressing the fundamental root causes.’

Vice President Kamala Harris lashed out when reporters again brought up the southern border during her trip to Mexico on Tuesday. 'Listen, I've been to the border before and I'll go again. But when I'm in Guatemala, dealing with root causes, I think we should have a conversation about what's going on in Guatemala,' she said with a laugh– even though she is in Mexico

Vice President Kamala Harris lashed out when reporters again brought up the southern border during her trip to Mexico on Tuesday. ‘Listen, I’ve been to the border before and I’ll go again. But when I’m in Guatemala, dealing with root causes, I think we should have a conversation about what’s going on in Guatemala,’ she said with a laugh– even though she is in Mexico

Kamala Harris and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had a bilateral meeting in Mexico City on Tuesday as the vice president still refuses to visit the southern border but says the U.S. is 'embarking on a new era' of relations

Kamala Harris and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had a bilateral meeting in Mexico City on Tuesday as the vice president still refuses to visit the southern border but says the U.S. is ’embarking on a new era’ of relations

Although both Harris and Lopez Obrador are vaccinated, the vice president masked up for the meeting

Although both Harris and Lopez Obrador are vaccinated, the vice president masked up for the meeting

 

source: dailymail.co.uk