Mercedes Schlapp with her husband, Matt Schlapp, at CPAC in 2017.
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Mercedes “Mercy” Schlapp has functioned for the Trump administration since September 2017, as soon as she join the White house staff as its director of strategic communications. Schlapp has long been a prominent voice in conservative circles together a politics strategist and also commentator. She has functioned as a columnist for the Washington Times and also as a contributor come Fox News.
“Honored to offer Donald Trump and the nation,” Schlapp said on Twitter after ~ joining the White House.
Schlapp was brought in by chef of Staff john Kelly not lengthy after that moved into the West Wing. According to Politico, Schlapp was brought in to assist professionalize a staff that had actually suffered from interior turmoil.
“General Kelly is methodically looking in ~ the portfolios of all the senior level staff and identifying redundancies and clarifying functions so the everyone has actually a plainly defined lane,” a White house official stated in September.
Politico stated Kelly, his then-deputy chief of staff Kirstjen Nielsen and deputy national security torture Dina Powell space “big fans” of Schlapp. She was lugged into the White house at the very same time Hicks was named as the brand-new communications director.
Schlapp has actually been popular amongst staff.
“Mercedes has been a godsend,” a White residence official called CNN in February. “Every time there is a void since there is some craziness walking on, Mercy’s constantly there to it is in the leader of the team. Otherwise, we’d all be chickens through our heads cut off, just running approximately rudderless.”
Sources told CNN that Schlapp would regularly step in to run the communications department as soon as Hicks was busy through the chairman or meeting through her lawyer.
“Beyond permanent planning, three White home officials said Schlapp has increasingly helmed day-to-day jobs in the interactions department and become a go-to because that officials external the interactions department searching for messaging guidance,” CNN reported. “She has likewise become a an ext visible presence outside the White House, appearing on television more frequently — consisting of on Spanish-language networks since she is the Cuban decent — than in her very first months at the White House.”
A resource told CNN, “When Hope’s attention is v the President, Mercy is useful (in) managing the team.”
Before joining the White residence staff, Schlapp to be working with her husband, Matt Schlapp in ~ Cove Strategies, a Virginia-based political consulting firm that the couple founded in 2009, according to that is website.
“Cove methods is a boutique government and also public relations firm headquartered in historical Old town Alexandria, Virginia. The decision to build a boutique firm stems native our belief in and also dedication to building long-term and trusted relationships through our clients. The principals at Cove techniques are easily accessible and totally engaged in our clients’ issues and priorities,” the website explains. “Each member of the Cove team bring a broad variety of political and communications endure to the firm. Us have operated on local, state and also presidential campaigns, ~ above Capitol Hill and also at The White House, and also in the non-profit and also private sectors.”
In her role at Cove, Schlapp, functioned “as a consultant because that clients from Fortune 500 corporations and also nonprofit organizations. Mercedes (served) as the interface in between the clients and also Spanish-language media outlets, (developed) media strategy consisting of message advancement and implementation plans and (worked) on hispanic coalition-building efforts. She (identified) the most efficient ways to reach targeted audience nationally and/or locally,” according to a bio provided by CPAC.
Trump praised the Schlapps at CPAC in 2017, saying, “I desire to give thanks to Matt Schlapp and also his very, really incredible wife and also boss, Mercedes. As soon as I clock them on tv defending me, nobody has actually a chance.”
Schlapp ended her contributor duty at Fox News shortly before taking the White residence job. She had also been creating a tower for the conservative-leaning Washington times newspaper, a role she began in 2016.
“Mercedes is a excellent individual and one of the most admired politics strategists today,” Times’ CEO and also President Larry Beasley stated at the time. “Having someone v her well-rounded talents and expertise in the political arena sign up with TWT is simply another good addition to our already solid team.”
Schlapp has additionally made appearances together a commentator top top MSNBC, CNN and PBS and on Spanish media, consisting of Univision, Telemundo, CNN en Español and national Spanish radio. She has additionally written for U.S. News and also World Report, FoxNews.com, The daily Caller and also The Hill, “on a selection of topics consisting of immigration, Hispanic and also women issues and also on foreign and also domestic policies,” the Washington times said when announcing her new column.
She has operated on both local and national political campaigns, including President George W. Bush’s 2000 and also 2004 campaigns. She additionally worked in the Bush administration as director of speciality media. In that duty she offered as a spokesperson because that Spanish-language media outlets. She met she husband while functioning for Bush. He functioned as the administration’s politics director from 2001 come 2005.
After working for the shrub administration, Mercedes Schlapp held the Republican national Committee’s net show, “In the Know.” She has additionally worked for the conference Hispanic management Institute.
Schlapp was rumored to it is in a competitor to be the chair that the RNC after Reince Priebus joined the trump card administration, The Washington Examiner report in December 2016. She was being propelled by then-Trump torture Steve Bannon, follow to the report.
“Wow. That would certainly be awesome. She is a at sight savvy Cuban woman from Miami. An excellent husband. Five daughters. Smart, tough, an excellent speaker, big smile. Fluently in Espanol. Hell Yeah. Authorize me up. And also please not one more 60-year-old white man,” a GOP insider said the newspaper.
Schlapp said at the time, “It’s an respect to even be considered,. Clearly that’s a decision because that the president-elect and the committee members
That project was eventually filled through Ronna Romney McDaniel.
2. She Is a Miami aboriginal & a First-Generation Cuban-American whose Father was Jailed for 6 years by the Cuban Government
Mercedes Schlapp to be born Mercedes Viana in Miami, Florida. She is a first-generation Cuban-American. Her father, Jose, was a political prisoner under the Castro program in Cuba and was imprisoned by the government for 6 years. She called The Hill that his stories about life in Cuba motivated her to get into politics.
“He teach me because I to be a tiny girl to constantly fight to safeguard America’s freedom and democracy,” she stated in 2016. “I felt i was … referred to as to execute something bigger, greater than myself, and that’s what attracted me to Washington.”
Schlapp called NBC News in 2016, “I remember my father always talking around how we need to fight for the liberty of this country.”
After the death of Fidel Castro in 2016, Schlapp talked around telling she then-81-year-old father that he had died.
“His eyes swelled with tears, and he smiled with a sense of relief that a dictator who damaged his homeland, stole his homes and also businesses, killed his friends, and also divided our household was finally gone,” Schlapp wrote for Fox News. “Mr. Castro readjusted the course of history and sadly, thousands of Cubans payment a hefty price because that his actions. Countless who disagreed with the Castro regime consisting of my father to be imprisoned, tortured, or assassinated.”
“My father knew the terrible path the Mr. Castro, and also he ended up being a freedom fighter – outspoken and vital of Mr. Castro. E to be thrown right into jail,” Schlapp wrote. ~ above the an initial day that his imprisonment, he speak to one his friends and also had to tell him that he would be executed the next day by a shooting squad. That is just one of many stories that the horrors of the Castro brother who space both guilty of the numerous executions of chaste men and also women.”
Schlapp’s brother, also named Jose Viana, functions in the Trump management as assistant deputy secretary and director that the Office that English Language salvation at the room of Education. He to be appointed to that job in April 2017, according to the education and learning department’s website.
“OELA awards federal grants to assistance the integration of no or limited-English-speaking students into school systems around the country. OELA additionally supports professional development programs because that teachers of English learners,” the website explains.
Schlapp and her brother prospered up speak Spanish in their house as their first language and also learned English as a 2nd language.
With her Spanish legacy and ability to speak the language, Schlapp has regularly addressed worries impacting the Hispanic neighborhood in she commentary and columns. She has also defended Trump’s treatment of Hispanics and immigrants.
Schlapp told Fox News in 2016, “Trump’s financial message of putting the American worker very first resonated through the spain community, plenty of of castle who space in the business industry, plenty of of them that have tiny businesses, that for instance want come see much less regulations and less taxes. … as soon as you notification where Donald trump card is concentrating his priority it’s clearly on deporting criminal illegal aliens. And I think hispanic Americans throughout the board can agree that is a really important job to require to ensure the defense of citizen in our country.”
During she time in the White House, Schlapp speak to the media about what she called “selective leaks” and also “inaccurate reporting,” on immigration issues, specifically the DACA issue and also reports the Trump’s “shithole countries” comment.
“The language was not used and also it is very clear the this is the democracy trying to derail this process,” Schlapp told abc News. “It’s an extremely clear that we desire immigrants to pertained to this country regardless of your background — in terms of making sure that we emphasis in on what their skills are and what castle can contribute to the economy.”
3. Schlapp, who Graduated from Florida worldwide University & George Washington University, to be a plank Member because that the NRA
Mercedes Schlapp attended St. Brendan High college in Miami, graduating in 1990. She then i graduated from Florida international University, also in Miami, in 1994 v a level in politics science, follow to FIU’s website. She was the very first graduate the the college to work-related in the White House.
Schlapp also earned she master’s level from George Washington college in D.C. In 1997 in publicly administration.
Schlapp ended up being a member of the nationwide Rifle Association’s board of director in 2015. The is no clear as soon as she left the NRA’s board, however she is no longer noted as among its members.
Schlapp and her husband room Catholic and also are members that St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Old town Alexandria. She is called for the patron saint of political prisoners, Virgin Mercedes, that her father, Jose, prayed to when he to be being organized by the Cuban government.
Schlapp has talked out about issues affect Catholics and also other Christians as a commentator and columnist. In 2012, she wrote a column for U.S. News and World Report suggesting that church felt like they were being persecuted by chairman Barack Obama.
“President Obama’s decision to support gay marital relationship will not aid his re-election efforts. He has actually taken an issue that tugs in ~ the heartstrings of numerous Americans and has turn it into a politics ploy,” she wrote. “The president’s method on this worry represents the worst the politics. End the critical 15 year he has actually taken opposing location on this topic. First he favored legalization of same sex marriage in 1996 when he was a state senator and also then changed his place to court Christian voter in 2008. And now in 2012, he is earlier where the started. This kind of development is not Darwinian however Machiavellian. He has actually played both sides: one moment he is distancing self from gay voters and also the next he is misleading the Christian voters.”
Metro Weekly, a D.C.-based weekly magazine because that the LGBTQ community, called her an “anti-LGBTQ activist,” as soon as she to be appointed to the White House
“Mercedes Schlapp’s addition to the White house brings another ‘yes’ person to the Trump administration that only wants to erase the hard-fought progress and acceptance LGBTQ Americans have actually made in recent years,” attracted Anderson, the director of news and rapid response at GLAAD, stated in a statement to metro Weekly. “Schlapp is a jar anti-LGBTQ activist that would have actually no trouble blindly communicating any kind of anti-LGBTQ measure up the president rubber stamps. Throughout a time as soon as the safety and also well-being of the neighborhood is at stake — LGBTQ civilization need someone who will stand up for them, not simply say ‘OK’ to any kind of discriminatory act.”
Schlapp has actually been an important of Pope Francis at times. She composed in a 2015 obelisk for U.S. News and also World Report about his speech to Congress:
When Pope Francis ceded his speech prior to Congress, he drew loud applause ~ above the lawn that the Capitol by heralding that the golden Rule “reminds united state of our obligation to protect and also defend human life in ~ every phase of the development.” The pontiff go on come dedicate a complete paragraph to opposing the fatality penalty and spoke in depth about climate change, poverty and immigration. He allocated just the one, vague sentence in his whole speech come the unborn.
In fact, the pontiff never clearly mentioned the word abortion or unborn, a substantial disappointment to pro-life Catholics eager to hear more from Francis top top this ethical issue, specifically in the wake up of the investigation into Planned Parenthood’s harvest of baby parts. On the lawn that the Capitol, ns saw more signs that check out “protect the usual good” than indications calling to “protect the unborn,” i beg your pardon illustrates a change in the pope’s messaging.
It was one of countless missed avenues to reassure conservatives the the pontiff stands through practicing Catholics on moral worries they feeling he has minimized during his pilgrimage to America in donate of an ext liberal-sounding policies.
4. She & she Husband have actually 5 Daughters & Live in Virginia
The pair has showed up together frequently on radio and TV, and also have regularly been side-by-side in ~ CPAC due to the fact that Matt Schlapp took end the American Conservative Union in 2014. The Schlapp youngsters have additionally been featured at CPAC in current years.
Matt Schlapp talked around his wife and the possibility she would certainly fill the communications director duty during a march 1 interview ~ above WMAL Radio. The show’s hosts to be encouraging him come “break the news” the she would certainly be hope Hicks’ replacement
“The first thing I need to do is make sure that I store the task of husband. That’s my number one job,” Matt Schlapp said. “My guess, anyone they choose for this brand-new communications director is going to be very sensitive. She’s awesome, i love her, she’s really talented. We’ve acquired five little kids, the larger one’s no so little anymore, she’s got a lot walking on in she life. I’ll tell you this, as a woman that is in a senior-level position, she is respected by the president and she yes, really enjoys functioning for him. And also it’s a great environment for her and also she’s having a blast, even though it’s awfully tough.”
5. The Schlapps taken into consideration Abandoning Trump after the ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape, but Decided come ‘Double Down’ because They assumed Life would certainly Be much better With Him as President
After the relax of the infamous “Access Hollywood” ice cream in October 2016, just a month prior to the election, Mercy and Matt Schlapp thought about dropping their support for Trump. They drove to victory Farm, their weekend house in Virginia, shared a bottle of wine and debated the issue, the Washington write-up reported in march 2017.
“We made decision to double down,” Matt said the newspaper.
“Of course we did,” Mercedes said.
They said The post that they unanimously determined that life under president Trump would be much better than if Hillary Clinton winner the election, and also chose to continue defending and also supporting him.
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Ari Fleischer, who worked with the Schlapps in the bush administration, told the newspaper, “They’ve end up being a yes, really fun brand-new power couple.”
Mercedes Schlapp called The short article that on their very first date, she request Matt what he would certainly do around Elian Gonzalez. She inquiry if he should have been sent back.
“I told her, you don’t ever before send anyone ago to the commies,” Matt said the newspaper.