SHUT DOWN

Presenter Savannah Guthrie asks President Donald Trump about an event at the White House that saw several attendees without a mask.

USA TODAY

Americans who watched President Donald Trump’s City Hall on the NBC news may have noticed a woman sitting behind him and nodding her head to agree with almost everything the president said.

When Guthrie challenged the President, she shook her head to show disapproval. She even seemed to give Trump a thumbs up towards the end of the forum.

Her constant head movements sparked biting comments on Twitter and earned her the nickname “nodding bobble head” from at least one viewer and a hashtag, #noddinglady, from others.

“I don’t know who the nodding bobblehead behind Trump is, but someone on the Trump communications team has finally earned his wages,” joked Tom Nichols, a senior advisor to an anti-Trump group of disaffected Republicans, on Twitter.

“She’s a strategically placed paid nod,” replied one woman whose Twitter profile identified her as a Biden supporter.

Dallas television reporter Allison Harris tweeted, “The nod is to Trump City Hall what the bow tie was to the VP debate,” referring to the distracting moments of the vice presidential debate when a fly landed on Mike Pence’s white hair .

Automatic playback

Show thumbnails

Show subtitles

Last slideNext slide

Meet Mayra Joli

At the end of the night, the nodding lady was identified by a Miami Herald reporter as Mayra Joli, an immigration attorney, five-time beauty queen, and Trump supporter who ran as independent for Congress in Miami in 2018. During that campaign, she dubbed Miami’s “Masters of Selfies,” according to the Herald.

After the forum, she greeted the president and told him, “We have your back!” Said the Herald story.

“Where are you from?” Trump asked her, “I’m from the Dominican Republic, but I’m American, I’m American,” she replied.

Joli didn’t ask a question during the event.

COVID-19, QAnon and Court Packaging: Here are the top moments from Biden Town Hall, Trump

Still, she got a lot of airtime.

“The woman over Trump’s shoulder who nods at many of his points is a real visual coup,” wrote another Twitter user.

The other woman: Paulette

Paulette Dale received a little applause, followed by social media fame for her gushing praise for Trump’s smile.

“Good evening, Mr. President. I have to say you have a great smile, ”she said. Dale is registered as a Republican but voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and has a slight tendency to vote for Biden.

Trump grinned broadly when some in the audience seemed to agree with Dale.

“He does; you are so pretty when you smile,” said Dale.

Dale went on to ask Trump about immigration policies, but the social media response has centered on Dale “shooting her shot” with the president.

Contributor: Joel Shannon

Read or share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/10/15/woman-behind-trump-and-her-nod-catches-share-attention/3672781001 /