President Trump’s White House director of media affairs for Latino and African-American news outlets quietly left her role in the administration recently.
Helen Aguirre Ferré did not publicly acknowledge her departure but Mercedes Schlapp, White House director of strategic communications, confirmed the exit to Univision on Wednesday.
“We greatly appreciate Helen’s work, service and dedication during her time in the White House. She will continue to work for the Administration in a different capacity,” Schlapp said in an email to the Spanish news outlet.
The Trump White House did not elaborate on her departure or her future.
Schlapp told Univision that she would be the one handling requests from Spanish-language media “for now.”
The Trump administration still does not offer a Spanish version of the White House website, something the two previous administrations offered, Univision noted.
Aguirre Ferré said last year that the Spanish site was supposed to launch at the end of 2017.
She reportedly surprised her friends when she joined the Trump administration after campaigning for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) during the Republican presidential primary.
Her Nicaraguan-exile father co-founded the Spanish-language newspaper Diario Las Américas, and for years she was a well-known bilingual media personality in South Florida, where she was born.
She previously served as the Hispanic communications director for the Republican National Committee.
Another prominent Hispanic Trump official, Carlos Díaz-Rosillo, former deputy assistant to the president and director of policy and interagency coordination, left the administration in June, Univision reported.
The news site noted that Aguirre Ferré’s unannounced exit followed the nationwide backlash following the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance immigration policy, which separated thousands of migrant families who had illegally entered the country.
Aguirre Ferré defended the policy at the Latina Leaders Summit in June.
“I support the president’s efforts in securing the border and I support the president’s efforts in ensuring that the laws are enacted properly,” she said.
Her departure also comes after a Washington-based ethics group alleged she and 9 other Trump administration officials who violated the federal Hatch Act.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed complaints with the Office of Special Counsel (OSC) earlier this month, alleging that Aguirre Ferré violated the act when she used Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” the header image on her official Twitter account
She also used the slogan in a tweet, allegedly violating the act that federal employees from using their offices and resources for political purposes.
BY MORGAN GSTALTER – 08/09/18