The New York Times published a story on Friday claiming participants in a Republican National Convention (RNC) video about public housing did not know its purpose, but Department of Housing and Urban Development employee Lynne Patton shared an email with Breitbart News that proves otherwise.
The Times report said four residents of New York City developments asserted they were “deceived” into appearing in the video for the convention, which later that evening saw President Trump accept the party’s nomination for reelection.
According to the paper:
Four tenants soon assembled in front of a video camera and were interviewed for more than four hours by Ms. Patton herself. Three of the tenants were never told that their interviews would be edited into a two-minute video clip that would air prominently on Thursday night at the Republican National Convention and be used to bash Mayor Bill de Blasio, the three tenants said in interviews on Friday.
The public housing clip was the second instance of the Trump campaign’s misleading participants in an event involving the federal government that was filmed for the Republican National Convention.
The Times identified the participants as Claudia Perez, Carmen Quiñones, Manny Martinez, and Judy Smith and reported three of the interviewees oppose Trump and were “misled about the video.”
Patton said that isn’t true and shared an email from a CNN producer, who acknowledged the subjects understood the purpose of their interviews.
Sheena Jones, a newsdesk editor for CNN, wrote Patton, “I have spoken to Carmen Quiñones, Manuel Martinez and Claudia Perez, they told me they knew the video was going to be used for the RNC.”
Breitbart News confirmed the authenticity of Jones’s email, which some critics have accused Patton of fabricating.
The Trump campaign obtained verbal approval from the four participants.
“All interview subjects were fully aware of the purpose of the interviews and gave verbal consent on video camera,” campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told Breitbart News.
“I have worked way too hard to expose the New York City Public Housing Authority (NYCHA) for the humanitarian crisis that it is — and more importantly, fix it — to allow my name and reputation to be sullied as calculating and deceitful,” Patton told Breitbart News.
“The irony is that the NYCHA community should be celebrating these residents for having the courage to participate in this RNC video knowing that they would be the subject of unprecedented backlash because they wanted to expose the inhumane conditions of their fellow residents to over 24 million people on a national stage,” she said. “And they did. Mission accomplished.”
Patton said, “Democrat or Republican, more people are talking about NYCHA right now on a national level than any local elected official has ever been able to achieve. Yet their very neighbors are the ones retaliating against them by voting them out of resident groups, criticizing their participation, excommunicating them from the community — and that was only in the first 24 hours.”
“That said, I understand their desire to downplay or distort their understanding of the situation, but that doesn’t mean it’s true,” she told Breitbart News.
Quiñones, who intends to vote for Joe Biden, told the Times she wanted to use the opportunity to highlight the problems with public housing under the Mayor Bill de Blasio administration.
“For me, this was not about party, but for us to make the national stage,” Quiñones said. “They were the only ones that offered. My own party didn’t offer.”
Quiñones complimented Patton, saying she is a “strong advocate” for the housing authority.
Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on weekends. Listen to segments on YouTube or download full podcast episodes. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Parler.