- While there is “no evidence suggesting that Nagarajan orchestrated the letter,” Politico reported about the confusion and mystery about her identity or how she got access to the intern chat.
New site Politico has been attempting to unravel the mystery surrounding Thara Nagarajan, the woman behind the letter sent earlier this month by White House interns to President Joe Biden demanding a permanent cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. “We, the undersigned Fall 2023 White House and Executive Office of the President interns, will no longer remain silent on the ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people,” read the letter, supported by more than 40 interns who work in the White House and executive branch offices.
“We are Palestinian, Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, Black, Asian, Latine, White, and Queer,” reads the letter. “We heed the voices of the American people and call on the Administration to demand a permanent cease-fire,” the letter continued. “We are not the decision makers of today, but we aspire to be the leaders of tomorrow, and we will never forget how the pleas of the American people have been heard and thus far, ignored.”
Similar to previous letters on the Israel-Hamas conflict that were addressed to the president, the interns didn’t sign their names. Instead they signed off the letter by the executive branches they work at. This elicited some “doubts on the legitimacy of the letter,” Politico noted. Some on social media “mocked the staffers for their gall to anonymously challenge the president and then leak the effort to the media,” while others applauded their “boldness,” the publication said. There were rumors that the letter “wasn’t actually organized by White House interns, but rather someone outside the administration,” the report added.
Amid this speculation, The Hill’s Bret Samuel reported a story quoting a source familiar with the letter, naming Nagarajan, “who is not directly affiliated with the White House,” as the organizer of the letter. Politico’s West Wing Playbook confirmed Samuel’s report after reviewing a Screenshot, adding that Nagarajan “mysteriously popped into the White House intern GroupMe chat the Sunday before the letter became public.”
Nagarajan accompanied the letter on the Google Form with a note, the Politico’s West Wing Playbook said. “Hi all, as the genocide of Palestinians continues, there is a public letter for White House interns to sign anonymously for those who stand with Palestine. She said “the interns had until 6 p.m. the following day to sign by noting the offices that they work in — but assured everyone that no actual names or emails would be collected or revealed.”
According to the West Wing Playbook, the intern GroupMe is not run by the White House. The messaging app “serves as an informal way for the roughly 150 20-somethings to stay in touch throughout the course of their program,” the newsletter added.
The newsletter clarified that there’s “no evidence suggesting that Nagarajan orchestrated the letter,” but “there is confusion and mystery on who she is or how she got access to the intern chat.” She immediately edited the group after sending the message. There is also “no doubt that a sizable number of White House interns feel distraught about the president’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict,” it added
One of the interns who signed the letter told West Wing Playbook that they “don’t know who that is or how that ended up in the group chat,” adding that “they are not part of our group and they are not even a White House intern to begin with.”Stressing that the letter was organized by interns and not written by Nagarajan, the intern told Politico that “Nagarajan’s involvement shouldn’t undercut the message they were trying to relay,” adding that “the letter exposed real tensions in the Biden administration in the wake of the Oct. 7 attack.
Meanwhile, with the 2023 fall internship program ending this month, it remains to be seen if the White House imposter would be identified.