His appearance at the hearing of Michael Cohen – a little staged intended to dispel the accusations of racism against President Trump – provoked an immediate reaction from black politicians and the public.
But Lynne Patton, a long-time aide to the Trump family became a federal housing bureaucrat, has long been thrilled in the spotlight, even going as far as to ask permission to play in a reality show while she was an official at HUD.
In a memorandum sent on October 18, 2018 to officials of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Patton asked for ethical and legal advice on the possibility of participating in a "docuserie" on black Republicans, according to documents obtained by Washington Post.
Of the 10 questions asked by Patton:
Would HUD be opposed to her attending events or meetings unrelated to HUD at the White House if she took a two-month unpaid leave for filming?
Would she have the right to consider herself a current member of the Trump administration?
Would she have the right to attend the Trump 2020 campaign rallies? And, in that case, who would be allowed to cover his travel expenses?
And would she be allowed to dine with HUD Secretary Ben Carson or her family during their personal time? What about the Trump family? Or other senior officials like Kellyanne Conway?
The show, directed by the producers of "The Real Housewives of the Potomac" and "Shahs of Sunset", would focus on a group of powerful Black women such as Patton, Trump Campaign Advisor, Katrina Pierson, and the conservative commentator, Candace Owens.
"We would like to follow their daily lives, capturing who they are at home, at work and, above all, understanding their political views and their strong brotherhood," says New York-based production Truly Original. company specializing in non scripted content.
Patton told The Post that the concept of the show had interested her, as the producers had compared her to "The Circus" by Showtime, a documentary series about Trump-era politics – "and not like reality TV-show".
"Black Republicans are not an anomaly. Not only do we have the same social barriers every day as all black men or black women, but we also have an extra albatross, which is to be conservative, "said Patton. "Nothing proves this better than the partisan reaction to my appearance before the committee this week. God preserve us that a black Republican is in the room according to his merit and can think for himself. But it's a scarlet letter that I wear with pride. "
Leslie Oren, spokeswoman for Truly Original, said the show was conceived as a "serious" documentary series. It is still in development and has not been launched yet.
"It's a deep look at a faction of African-American Republicans – their point of view and why they chose to take a position that is not typically the majority political position," Oren said.
Patton noted in his note to HUD officials that Truly Original Productions first contacted him in December 2016, prior to his employment with the federal government, to play a lead role in a prime-time series for Netflix, HBO, Bravo, Hulu or Lifetime.
"In the interest of public service to the President of the United States, I refused," wrote Patton in his memo.
The production company contacted her again in 2018, when she introduced the concept of reality TV to HUD officials.
Patton's application was rejected for ethical reasons, according to two HUD people who knew of the decisions, who were not allowed to discuss them in public.
Patton challenged this characterization, claiming that agency officials had told her that it was up to her to make her decision after setting strict parameters limiting the amount she could earn.
She added that the HUD would also not allow her to be filmed at work, as this could violate the equal time rules surrounding the campaigns since Trump had already declared her candidacy for 2020.
In her memo, Patton asked if she would remain under government regulation if she took a leave without pay. She even offered to resign temporarily from her HUD position while filming was scheduled to begin in the summer of 2019 and asked if she could legally be rehired after two months.
The agency told him that the scenarios that she presented would not work.
Patton stated that HUD officials had informed him at a meeting that federal employees were entitled to earn a secondary income as long as it does not exceed $ 28,000 a year and that 39, he is not part of a sector related to their function in the public service.
Given that industry insiders told her that she could order up to $ 40,000 per episode during the inaugural season of the eight episodes, she decided not to take this opportunity for that she was at HUD.
"I love my job." My only priority is the people of New York and New Jersey, especially those from NYCHA, "said Patton." It's not a money issue. I could earn 10 times the amount of writing a book on a fraction of what I know.This is for me to honor my commitment to the American people.If the producers are really interested they will find a way to make it work without jeopardizing my own mission based on principles. "
Still, it seems that Patton, who has landed a job of $ 160,000 a year, overseeing the New York and New Jersey area of the HUD after being the main advisor to the Trump campaign on minority engagement, has is the subject of an endless hearing.
She moved into a social housing unit in New York in February to highlight the deplorable living conditions – Rats! Black mold! Be trapped in an elevator! – who caused a conference call with the president himself. But Patton said she had to suspend her one – month stay to visit Washington this week for mandatory HUD meetings.
Patton ignored the objections of some HUD officials at the last day of the Regional Directors' meeting. He took a leave of absence on Wednesday to join a Republican congressman as he played the former Trump defender who called the president a racist.
Her surprise appearance at the hearing – she rose less than a minute when Representative Mark Meadows (RN.C.) recounted Patton's earlier statements that she would never work for Racists – has been criticized by critics who have admitted to being allowed to be used as an accessory.
Patton reacted Thursday by appearing on the president's favorite morning show, "Fox & Friends," promoting "MY SIDE of the story" with the #AMustWatch, #NoHoldsBarred and #TheRealStory hashtags on Instagram.
"I was not there to represent a whole race of people. I was there to represent a man, "said Patton during the show, pointing his finger insistently.
She highlighted her resume as a "highly educated black woman, raised in the ranks of one of the most competitive real estate companies, who spoke to 25 million people at the Republican National Convention. and who is now working for one of the most historic administrations. in the story. "
Cohen said Wednesday that he had helped Patton get his job at the Trump Organization as well as at the HUD. Both were "virtually inseparable," Patton said on Instagram this week, under an old photo of them having dinner at the Trump Tower.
Patton started working for Eric, Trump's son, in 2009, as vice-president of his foundation and his senior assistant, before being promoted to 2012 as senior assistant to all Trump's children, according to his curriculum vitae submitted to HUD.
His promotion of HUD in June 2017 from a senior Carson advisor to a regional administrator overseeing the country's largest housing authority has sparked controversy over his lack of housing expertise and accusations. according to which she would have embellished her CV.
At HUD, Patton has a reputation for being uncontrollable – and untouchable, given his close ties to Trumps. La Poste had previously reported emails showing how she tried to fire a colleague by talking about her friendship with Eric Trump.
His silent role in hearing Cohen further enhanced his profile, bringing a thorough scrutiny of the media as well as opportunities.
Darryl Madden, spokesman for the HUD's Inspector General's Office, told The Post Thursday that the office had referred Patton's appearance to the Special Council Office for a re-examination.
Patton seems to like being in the line of fire, even as a comic fodder late at night. She praised Facebook on "The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah's comedian Trevor Noah, who joked that the Trump family seemed to have a "bat signal" for Patton because "every time the Trump are accused of racism, they always bring the same woman … as if you could only bring one black each time, something tells me that you do not have black friends.
Thursday night, she appeared on Laura Ingraham. Friday, she booked on Sean Hannity. Saturday is Judge Jeanine.
On Monday, Patton is scheduled to return to regular programs: she will move into her home with a third family of volunteers living in social housing in New York, this time in the Queens neighborhood, where Amazon was supposed to build a second seat.
And as she did during her week-long stays in Bronx and Upper West Side housing complexes, Patton will visit the distressed apartments, documented by her own video blog – and by the media that she invited to follow.