Three New York City tenants who were featured in a video at the Republican National Convention this week said they had no idea their interviews would be used for that purpose — and none of them support President Donald Trump.
Lynne Patton — the Trump-appointed head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development region that includes New York — interviewed residents on video about conditions in their buildings. Three of those residents said they didn’t know their interviews were for the RNC, reported The New York Times.
“I am not a Trump supporter,” Claudia Perez, one of the tenants in the video, told the Times. The clip, which aired Thursday, criticized New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Trump’s longtime target.
“I am not a supporter of his racist policies on immigration,” she added. “I am a first-generation Honduran. It was my people he was sending back.”
It’s worth noting that under the Hatch Act, federal officials, such as Patton, are barred from using their taxpayer-funded positions for political activities.
HUD did not immediately reply to HuffPost’s request for comment. Patton sent a statement to the Times saying she did not lie to the tenants, who knew interviews would play at the convention, and that the video passed muster with the White House over Hatch Act concerns.
NEW: Three NYC public housing tenants said they were tricked into appearing in a Republican National Convention video. Lynne Patton, a HUD official, interviewed them for the video, which they thought would be used to highlight issues in public housing. https://t.co/baZDhVX9BZ
— Matthew Haag (@matthewhaag) August 28, 2020
Similarly, two of the immigrants featured in an RNC video on Tuesday showing a naturalization ceremony at the White House told The Wall Street Journal that they didn’t know the footage would be shown at the convention. In this case, the two women — Sudha Narayanan, who is from India, and Neimat Awadelseid, from Sudan — said they didn’t mind having it featured at the event.
In another controversial appearance at the RNC, Ann Dorn spoke on Thursday about the death of her husband, retired police officer David Dorn, who was killed during anti-racism protests in St. Louis in June. But David Dorn’s daughters had opposed her speaking of their father, a Black man who was a Democrat and didn’t support Trump. They said they didn’t want her to “politicize our father’s death for Trump’s agenda.”
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