The Joe Biden White House hired a new sign language interpreter for its briefings who is reportedly behind a pro-Donald Trump Facebook page that shared videos claiming fraud in the presidential election.
The Monday news conference by press secretary Jen Psaki featuring American Sign Language interpreter Heather Mewshaw came just days after she wore a red “Make America Great Again” hat in a video posted to Facebook on Inauguration Day, Time magazine reported Wednesday.
That video — which featured Mewshaw signing as Trump danced to the song “YMCA” — was titled “Thank You President Trump From the Right Side ASL Team!” Time said.
“Right Side ASL” is the name of a Facebook group that Mewshaw apparently managed before its account was deleted in November, Time reported.
The group later resurfaced under the name “Hands of Liberty ASL,” which on Nov. 17 posted a message that said, “Sad News: Our Facebook Page, Right Side ASL Backup, has been flagged for violating community standards and will be taken down at any time. It’s up to Facebook to decide. Not us,” Time said.
That message, which featured a video of Meshaw using ASL, also said Right Side ASL was closing its accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Parler.
American Sign Language interpreter Heather Mewshaw (inset) apparently managed a pro-Trump Facebook group called “Right Side ASL”.
YouTube / The White House
Mewhsaw, 41, has also reportedly supplied ASL translation for a video featuring former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani that’s titled “What Really Happened On January 6th?” — the day the US Capitol was overrun by Trump supporters — and for a video featuring controversial Dr. Stella Immanuel, who has promoted treating COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine, which the FDA has banned for that purpose.
Jon Henner, an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina Greensboro who studies ASL and is deaf, on Monday tweeted a photo of Mewshaw wearing a MAGA hat and Trump campaign T-shirt, adding: “Gather round folks. I have a story to tell you about the interpreter in the current White House Briefing.”
Henner told Time he was “honestly surprised” to see her employed by the Biden administration.
“For me, it would be problematic for someone who has aligned herself with alt-right discourses to be the public face of the White House for the deaf communities and people who are curious about ASL,” he added.
A profile of Mewshaw posted at the Independent Interpreters website says she is the child of a deaf adult and has been working as a professional sign language interpreter since 1999.
“She is comfortable with working in an array of settings and her strengths are in settings such as Federal and state government, medical, conferences, religious services, and highly-technical assignments,” the profile adds.
Mewshaw was replaced by different ASL interpreters on Tuesday and Wednesday. The White House didn’t respond to requests for comment from Time or The Post.
Mewshaw didn’t answer her phone on Wednesday and didn’t immediately return a message from The Post.
Additional reporting by Steven Nelson