Back in January, Fusion reported on the disappearance of the White House website’s Spanish–language portal on the day that Donald Trump took the oath of office. Five months later, that portal is still empty, save a single message in English stating, “Thank you for your interest in this subject.”
And while President Trump is obsessed with Twitter, claiming it is a way to bypass traditional media and speak directly to his constituents, the White House’s Spanish–language Twitter account is practically useless, with tweets appearing only sporadically and mostly in English. Worse, the Spanish–language tweets that do exist are riddled with grammatical errors, including missing accents.
“After a succession of administrations that embraced Spanish-language content, President Donald Trump’s White House is all but ignoring Spanish speakers even though he has a robust online presence in English,” the Associated Press reported on Saturday.
Visitors to @LaCasaBlanca will find that the very first tweet in the feed, from June 26, contains a missing accent on “médicos” in a sloppy translation of a Trump tweet attacking Obamacare, although the very next word, “están” has an accent.
According to AP, White House press secretary Sean Spicer promised five months ago that the Trump administration had people “working overtime” to put its own Spanish–language portal online. Now, White House Media Affairs Director Helen Aguirre Ferre said a Spanish–language website would launch later this year. Ya veremos.
Compare that to the Obama administration’s Spanish website, which former Obama media official Luis Miranda said was “not just a translation of the English site, but included information geared to Latinos on topics such as immigration, health issues, banking and veterans affairs.”
It is not, however, a partisan issue, because having a Spanish–language website to distribute information to the public was an idea started by Republican President George W. Bush. That appears to be irrelevant to Trump, who once said during a presidential debate that, “We have a country, where, to assimilate, you have to speak English…We’ve had many people over the years, for many, many years, saying the same thing. This is a country where we speak English.”
Aguirre told the news agency that the White House’s “priority remains to improve the English language website,” adding that the Obama administration took nine months to get its Spanish site up and running.