Mercedes Schlapp

Mercedes Schlapp (née Viana; born December 27, 1972)[1][2] is an American lobbyist and columnist. From September 2017 to July 2019, she served as White House Director of Strategic Communications in the Trump administration. Since July 2019, she has worked on the Trump 2020 re-election campaign.[3]

Mercedes Schlapp
Mercedes Schlapp by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
2nd White House Director of Strategic Communications
In office
September 12, 2017 – July 1, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
LeaderHope Hicks
Bill Shine
Preceded byHope Hicks
Succeeded byAlyssa Farah
Personal details
Mercedes Viana

(1972-12-27) December 27, 1972 (age 47)
Miami, Florida, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Matt Schlapp
EducationFlorida International University (BA)
George Washington University (MPA)

Personal lifeEdit

Schlapp is a second generation Cuban-American born in Florida. She is married to Matt Schlapp, the chair of the American Conservative Union.[4] The Schlapps have five daughters.[5]


Campaigns and Bush administrationEdit

Schlapp worked on local and national political campaigns, as well as the 2000 and 2004 presidential campaigns for George W. Bush, and was Director of Specialty Media in his administration.[6]


Later she was a Fox News contributor and a columnist for several publications including U.S. News & World Report and The Washington Times.[7][8][9][10]


Together with her husband Schlapp founded Cove Strategies, a lobbying firm based in Alexandria, Virginia, in 2009.[11] Since President Trump entered the White House, the income of the firm surged (from $600,000 in 2015 to more than a $1 million in 2017).[11] Koch Industries was the firm's first client.[11]


She was a board member of the National Rifle Association before joining the White House.[12] She was an aid consultant at the NRA, earning $60,000 from the NRA in 2015, and $45,000 in 2016, according to NRA tax filings.[11]

Trump administrationEdit

On September 12, 2017, President Donald Trump's administration announced that Schlapp would serve as Director of Strategic Communications.[13] Prior to joining the Trump administration, Schlapp made numerous statements that were strongly critical of Trump.[14]

Schlapp attracted attention when she and her husband left the White House Correspondents Dinner early in April 2018, saying that she was disgusted by comedian Michelle Wolf’s jokes aimed at Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.[11][15] In a limousine en route to an exclusive NBC/MSNBC afterparty, she tweeted that Wolf's comedy routine is "why America hates the out of touch leftist media elite".[11]

In May 2018, Schlapp defended White House aide Kelly Sadler after she joked that John McCain's opposition to CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel was irrelevant because "he’s dying anyway".[16][17]

George Floyd protestsEdit

In June 2020, amid the George Floyd protests against racism and police brutality, she retweeted praise for a racist who was wielding a chainsaw against protestors while he was yelling the N-word.[18][19] After Politico asked for comment, she retweeted another account that posted the video of the chainsaw-wielding man but which muted the N-word.[18] After Politico published the story, she apologized.[18]

Political positionsEdit

Schlapp has stated an opposition to same-sex marriage, calling President Barack Obama’s decision to support it a "political ploy".[20][21]


  1. ^
  2. ^ (subscription required)
  3. ^ Haberman, Maggie; Karni, Annie (2019-07-01). "Mercedes Schlapp Leaving White House Press Office to Join Trump Campaign". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-07-02.
  4. ^ "The Hon. Matt Schlapp". American Conservative Union. Archived from the original on 2014-12-30. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  5. ^ The ACU (2015-02-27), CPAC 2015 - Matt Schlapp, Chairman, ACU, Former White House Political Director, retrieved 2016-06-11
  6. ^ "Mercedes (Mercy) Viana Schlapp", Fathers Republican Women.
  7. ^ "Mercedes Schlapp". Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  8. ^ "Mercedes Schlapp: CNN Debate Was 'Montessori School' 'Unstructured'". NewsBusters. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  9. ^ "Mercy Schlapp stories". Fox News. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  10. ^ "Mercedes Schlapp | Stories - Washington Times". The Washington Times. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  11. ^ a b c d e f "Meet the Schlapps, Washington's Trump-Era 'It Couple'". The New York Times. 2018-04-30. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  12. ^ Woellert, Lorraine (February 28, 2018). "Missing from the gun debate: Trump's own experience with concealed carry". Politico. Retrieved April 29, 2018. Mercedes Schlapp, his director of strategic communications, was a board member of the NRA before joining the White House.
  13. ^ Greenwood, Max (September 12, 2017). "Mercedes Schlapp joins White House as senior communications adviser". Washington DC: Capitol Hill Publishing. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  14. ^ Darcy, Oliver. "Top White House communications aide has history of rhetoric strongly critical of Trump". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  15. ^ Stelter, Brian. "Here's how people reacted to Michelle Wolf's White House correspondents' roast". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  16. ^ Hart, Benjamin. "Five White House Staffers Leak Meeting About White House Leaks". Daily Intelligencer. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  17. ^ "The White House's John McCain death joke controversy, explained". Vox. Retrieved 2018-05-17.
  18. ^ a b c "Chainsaw-wielding racist gets boosted by a top Trump aide as race protests sweep the nation". POLITICO. Retrieved 2020-06-06.
  19. ^ Dorman, Sam (2020-06-06). "Senior Trump aide apologizes after promoting video of chainsaw-wielding man yelling racial slur". Fox News. Retrieved 2020-06-06.
  20. ^ Schlapp, Mercedes (May 11, 2012). "Churches Feel Persecuted by Obama". U.S. News & World Report. U.S. News & World Report L.P. Archived from the original on March 1, 2018. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  21. ^ Riley, John (September 12, 2017). "Anti-LGBTQ activist Mercedes Schlapp joins White House Press Office". Metro Weekly.

External linksEdit