N.Y.C. Tenants Say They Had been Tricked Into Showing in R.N.C. Video

N.Y.C. Tenants Say They Were Tricked Into Appearing in R.N.C. Video

It began with an sudden name final week from Lynne Patton, a longtime Trump affiliate who oversees federal housing packages in New York.

Ms. Patton advised a frontrunner of a tenants’ group on the New York Metropolis Housing Authority, the nation’s largest, that she was fascinated by talking with residents about circumstances within the authority’s buildings, which have lengthy been in poor restore.

4 tenants quickly assembled in entrance of a video digicam and have been interviewed for greater than 4 hours by Ms. Patton herself. They have been by no means advised that their interviews can be edited right into a two-minute video clip that may air on Thursday night time on the Republican Nationwide Conference and be used to bash Mayor Invoice de Blasio, three of the tenants stated in interviews on Friday.

“I am not a Trump supporter,” stated one of many tenants, Claudia Perez. “I am not a supporter of his racist policies on immigration. I am a first-generation Honduran. It was my people he was sending back.”

The episode represents one other stark instance of how President Trump has deployed authorities sources to additional his political ambitions. Ms. Patton is head of the New York workplace of the Division of Housing and City Improvement, and beneath the Hatch Act is barred from utilizing her authorities place to have interaction in political actions.

All through the conference, Mr. Trump has shattered the normal boundaries between authorities and politics, and the video was aired on an evening when the marketing campaign took over the South Garden of the White Home, the primary time {that a} main political conference has occurred there.

The general public housing clip was the second occasion of the Trump marketing campaign’s deceptive members in an occasion involving the federal authorities that was filmed for the Republican Nationwide Conference. On Tuesday, the conference confirmed a video of 5 new Americans being sworn in at a naturalization ceremony by Mr. Trump. A number of the 5 stated they didn’t know that they have been being filmed for a political occasion.

Three of the 4 tenants within the public housing video have been interviewed on Friday by The New York Occasions. All three stated they opposed President Trump and have been misled in regards to the objective of the video.

Within the video, the tenants raised issues about circumstances within the housing authority’s buildings, attacking Mr. de Blasio’s housing report. Ms. Perez, one of many tenants, stated in an interview on Friday afternoon that she stood by her criticism of the authority however was livid about being tricked into showing within the video.

Ms. Perez stated she had been known as final week by one other tenant chief, Carmen Quiñones, who stated Ms. Patton was together with her on the Frederick Douglass Homes in Manhattan and wished to speak to residents in regards to the housing authority’s efficiency.

Solely after the questioning ended have been the 4 tenants advised that the interview was for the Republican Celebration, Ms. Perez stated. However she stated she was by no means advised that it was for the conference.

Ms. Perez stated she demanded to see the edited model of the clip, however nobody ever confirmed it to her. She added that Ms. Quiñones known as her minutes earlier than the clip aired on Thursday night time to say that it was about to be proven.

In the course of the pandemic, Ms. Perez and Ms. Quiñones have helped to supply tons of of 1000’s of meals to residents who wouldn’t have had meals in any other case. One of many distributors who offered the meals, a farming firm owned by Muslims, known as an affiliate of Ms. Perez on Friday and requested why she appeared in a video supporting Mr. Trump, Ms. Perez stated.

Ms. Patton declined to be interviewed, saying that she was touring. However she issued an announcement denying that she misled the 4 tenants, saying that they knew that their interviews can be proven on the conference “to increase awareness of the inhumane conditions that Mayor de Blasio has allowed for far too long.”

“Each participated regardless of political party because they recognized the importance of having a voice on the national stage and the undeniable improvements that have transpired under this administration,” Ms. Patton stated.

She stated the video had been vetted and cleared for Hatch Act violations by the White Home.

Ms. Patton stated that she had spoken with all 4 tenants on Friday and that they have been upset with the best way The Occasions was “twisting their words.”

In a separate interview, Ms. Quiñones stated she talked to Ms. Patton on Friday afternoon and was snug with how she was being portrayed by The Occasions. She stated she was upset that her phrases have been twisted to assist President Trump.

Ms. Perez and a 3rd tenant, Manny Martinez, stated that they had not spoken with Ms. Patton on Friday and didn’t know what she was speaking about.

Explaining how the video happened, Ms. Quiñones confirmed that Ms. Patton had reached out to her about assembling tenants to speak in regards to the authority.

However Ms. Quiñones stated she didn’t notice till the cameras began and the questions started that Ms. Patton had really recruited the tenants for interviews for the social gathering.

Ms. Quiñones stated she wished that she had been advised upfront that the clip can be proven on the conference. She stated she was a lifelong Democrat who plans to vote for Joseph R. Biden Jr. in November. She was interviewed on Friday as she marched in Washington on the Get Your Knee Off Our Necks rally, sponsored by one other Trump goal, the Rev. Al Sharpton.

When requested whether or not she was involved about being misled, Ms. Quiñones stated, “It is what it is.”

She added that she determined to make use of the chance to spotlight what she stated have been intensive issues on the housing authority beneath Mr. de Blasio.

“For me, this was not about party, but for us to make the national stage,” Ms. Quiñones stated. “They were the only ones that offered. My own party didn’t offer.”

Ms. Quiñones stated Ms. Patton had been a powerful advocate for the housing authority.

She stated she helps the Democratic Celebration apart from one individual, Mr. de Blasio, whom she blamed for what she stated have been worsening circumstances on the Douglass Homes in Manhattan and throughout the housing authority, which has 400,000 tenants.

The third tenant, Mr. Martinez, stated he was requested to participate within the assembly with Ms. Patton with little discover, however took up the chance to air his issues about public housing. “This was not an endorsement of Trump,” he stated.

Mr. de Blasio didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

However on Thursday night time, his press secretary, Invoice Neidhardt, known as the video a “cynical attempt to pit Black Americans against immigrants,” a reference to an assertion within the video that undocumented immigrants had been allowed to chop in line to get housing earlier than Americans.

“It’s wrong,” Mr. Neidhardt wrote on Twitter. “After a long time of disinvestment, Mayor de Blasio has made historic investments in NYCHA. However a minimum of this a lot is true: The Mayor lives lease free in Trump’s head.”

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