The White House confirmed Wednesday that it is investigating a woman who allegedly claimed to be a Univision reporter at a press conference with Vice President Kamala Harris in Mexico.
Harris was taking questions from reporters when a moderator called on “Maria Fernanda of Univision” to ask a question.
“I voted for you,” Fernanda said, adding that it was an honor to ask her the question. “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?”
In a later interview with Fox News, Fernanda—whose name is Maria Fernanda Reyes—said she isn’t a reporter with Univision and said she did not correct the moderator because she was too excited.
Univision has since said that the woman who asked the question doesn’t work for the network.
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 @KamalaHarris. Let it be clear to everyone that Ms. Maria Fernanda Reyes is not part of this media organization https://t.co/edxyzRVlt8
— Daniel Coronell (@DCoronell) June 9, 2021
Daniel Coronell, the head of Univision News, posted a video of the interaction on Twitter and said that the woman doesn’t work for his network.
“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 @KamalaHarris. Let it be clear to everyone that Ms. Maria Fernanda Reyes is not part of this media organization,” he wrote.
White House spokeswoman Symone Sanders responded to Coronell’s remark and said the administration will investigate.
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention,” Sanders wrote on Tuesday night. “We are looking into this.”
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We are looking into this. https://t.co/5gVsyOoudr
— SDS (@SymoneSanders46) June 9, 2021
Fernanda, a San Francisco Bay Area-based entrepreneur, told Fox News that she was in Mexico on Tuesday to help Mayan farmers when she was asked to attend Harris’s event.
“I don’t care. I asked a question,” she said, adding: “If people don’t like it, fine.”
The exchange between the faux Univision reporter and Harris was highlighted by critics of the Biden administration, who asserted that it is more evidence the White House has a cozy relationship with the press.