A woman who has become an internet meme after repeatedly nodding and giving a thumbs up at President Trump’s town hall, is a Miami-based immigration lawyer who ran for Congress as a pro-Trump candidate in 2018.
Mayra Joli has been identified as the ‘Nodding Lady’ sitting in the audience directly behind Trump at the NBC News town hall at Perez Art Museum in Miami Thursday.
Joli, who was wearing a red face mask and a white blouse, caught social media users’ attention after nodding in approval at nearly every statement as Trump spoke to host Savannah Guthrie.
Her behavior quickly generated buzz among viewers on Twitter, where some compared her to the infamous fly that stole the show at last week’s vice presidential debate after landing on Mike Pence’s head.
‘I wish I had someone who believed me the way that woman with red mask believes Trump. We could all be so lucky,’ one person joked.
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‘Nodding Lady’ (pictured in the background in a white blouse and red mask) became the breakout star of NBC’s town hall event with President Trump in Miami, Florida
The woman has been identified as Mayra Joli, a Miami-based immigration lawyer and staunch Trump supporter
Just two years ago, Joli ran for Congress as an independent, pro-Trump candidate, but lost to her Democratic opponent
‘Nodding lady is tonight’s fly #TrumpTownHall,’ another added.
And as proven at Thursday’s event, Joli has been revealed to be an ardent Trump supporter and immigration lawyer who has dabbled in politics in the past.
The woman is the founder and CEO of Miami-based Joli Law Firm which specializes in immigration and uses ‘Your American Dream Starts Here’ as its slogan.
Among its areas of practice are family-based petitions, temporary protected status (TPS), detentions and naturalizations, according to the website.
Just two years ago, Joli ran as a candidate for Florida’s 27th Congressional District but lost to Democratic opponent Donna Shalala after gaining just 2.5 per cent of the vote, The Miami-Herald reported.
Joli, who is from the Dominican Republic, is also a five-time beauty queen who sometimes serves as a pundit on Spanish networks.
While she described herself as a non-party affiliate and ran as an independent, campaign videos show her platform was closely aligned with conservative views.
During her 2018 campaign she revealed Trump had inspired her congressional bid.
The Miami woman frequently voices her support for the president on social media and even shared photos with the Trump women at Thursday’s event
Joli posed for a selfie with the president’s youngest daughter, Tiffany Trump
‘Nodding Lady’ was identified as Mayra Joli (left and right), a vocal Trump supporter and former congressional candidate
‘I am not looking to run because I need a paycheck, like Donald Trump. I’m not looking to run because I need fame, like Donald Trump. I’m running because I need this country to succeed,’ she wrote on Facebook. ‘Like Donald Trump, I don’t drink.’
Videos also showed Joli weighing in on issues such as a affordable housing, which she described as being poorly run.
‘You know what happened with affordable housing? The special interest – for which I am against, anything anti-establishment I’m there,’ she said.
‘They take the subsidized money that the government gives them, they build the houses, they don’t maintain it and fill it with crime, drugs and guns.’
The one-time aspiring politician is vocal about her support for the president on social media and frequently posts messages and photos rooting for Trump.
Joli appears to be embracing her status as an internet meme as she has shared social media posts with hashtage’noddingladyfortrump’
Pictured: Mayra Joli (left) and Don Jr., the President’s oldest son (right)
‘Nodding Lady’ (right) became a focus point for Americans tuned into NBC’s town hall event on Thursday with President Trump
Tom Nichols: ‘Journalists, if you don’t find out who that woman is nodding behind Trump at an ‘undecided’ voter town hall, then I don’t know what you’re getting paid for’
Joli became a social media meme on Friday night, with many users cracking jokes about wanting someone to look at them the way she stared at Trump
She even managed to speak with the president after the town hall event and shared a video of the interaction on her Facebook page.
‘We have your back! You see, you see you are the best,’ she told Trump in the video.
When asked where she’s from Joli told Trump, ‘I’m from the Dominican Republic, but I’m American, I’m an American.’
‘Hey, Sammy Sosa?’ Trump replied, referring to the famed Dominican baseball player. He imitated a baseball swing as Joli continued to praise him.
Joli appears to be embracing her new identity as the ‘nodding lady’, which she has been using as a hashtag in her posts.
Gilliam: ‘I don’t know who the woman with the red mask is behind [President Trump] but I’m becoming a huge fan of her agreement head shakes when the president answers questions
One person compared ‘Nodding Lady’ to last week’s social media frenzy around the fly that landed on Mike Pence’s head
Sarah Cooper: ‘This woman is nodding at things before he’s even finished his thought. It’s a psychological trick and I cannot believe no producer, no camera person, NO ONE is stopping it’
Mayra Joli (right) in 2018: ‘I am not looking to run because I need a paycheck, like Donald Trump. I’m not looking to run because I need fame, like Donald Trump’
In one post written in Spanish she wrote, ‘Ay, ay, ay, I’m going to vote for Trump. #Noddinglady for Trump’.
She also shared photos from Thursday event where she posed alongside women from the Trump clan including Kimberly Guilfoyle and the president’s youngest daughter Tiffany.
‘The president is NOT a racist!’ she wrote in a post.
‘Journalists, if you don’t find out who that woman is nodding behind Trump at an ‘undecided’ voter town hall, then I don’t know what you’re getting paid for,’ wrote Tom Nichols, a Lincoln Project senior advisor, wrote.
‘I don’t know who the woman with the red mask is behind [President Trump], wrote Jonathan T. Gilliam, ‘but I’m becoming a huge fan of her agreement head shakes when the president answers questions.’
Others echoed Nichols suggestion that the woman could have been placed there on purpose so the President appeared to have supporters.
Sarah Cooper, a writer and comedian, wondered ‘how much can I get paid to sit behind Trump and nod at everything he says.’
‘This woman is nodding at things before he’s even finished his thought. It’s a psychological trick and I cannot believe no producer, no camera person, NO ONE is stopping it.’