HUD regional director and former longtime Trump Organization employee Lynne Patton has hit back at allegations - levied by Michigan Rep. Rashida "Impeach the Motherfucker" Tlaib during Wednesday's hearing - that she was brought to the hearing as a "prop" to contradict Michael Cohen's claims that President Trump is an inveterate racist.
During an interview with Fox & Friends Thursday morning, Patton asserted that, as a black woman born in Birmingham, Alabama (an epicenter of the civil rights movement during the 1960s), she would never work for a man who was racist. She also defended Trump's economic record as president, saying that his policies have benefited minorities (evidenced by a drop in the unemployment rate for African Americans, which touched an all-time low under Trump).
“I was not there to represent an entire race of people. I was there to represent one man. One man who, nevermind having the lowest unemployment rate for blacks, hispanics, woman....who gave the largest federal disaster grant for Puerto Rico, passed historic prison reform bill in three decades, pardoning more people with disparate sentences than any other president in history...he's also just created an urban council that's going to funnel $100 billion of capital into urban communities through opportunity zones...he just made slain Medgar Evers home a civil rights historic monument...these are things the American public doesn't hear enough about."
What does bother people about the president isn't racism, she said, it's his ability to speak the truth even when it makes people uncomfortable: "I've said it before and I've said it again: The president doesn't see color, race, religion, what he sees is success and opportunity...he doesn't care what people think and he tells it like it is." And through his companies he's "been empowering women and minorities for years."
Tlaib should apologize to Meadows, Patton said, for issuing such a smear in front of the public and Meadows' colleagues.
Patton also responded to Tlaib's claims in an Instagram post published Thursday: In a caption to her post, she said: "Today a race card was played. But not by Congressman Mark Meadows. But rather by those on the House Oversight Committee who sadly placed more credence on the word of a self-confessed convicted perjurer, than that of a highly-educated black woman who rose up the ranks of one of the most recognized global real-estate companies in the world. That is not the resume of a prop."
Today a race card was played. But not by Congressman Mark Meadows. But rather by those on the House Oversight Committee who sadly placed more credence on the word of a self-confessed convicted perjurer, than that of a highly-educated black woman who rose up the ranks of one of the most recognized global real-estate companies in the world, spoke before 25 million people at the Republican National Convention and now successfully oversees the largest HUD program office in the country. That is not the resume of a prop. It is, however, the resume of someone who remains completely unfazed by the criticism of others and laser focused. Today was simply about one longtime employee disputing the testimony of another longtime employee who both know the President extremely well. Period. Since the release of my viral video in May 2015, those who know me can confirm that my steadfast narrative about the Trump family has not changed. The only one of us whose narrative has changed is the one facing significant jail time. Period. My presence today was to remind Michael Cohen that honesty and integrity still matter. I do not have an NDA. I do not have a book deal. What I DO have is the truth on my side. And when you have that, nothing else matters. 🇺🇸
Watch the full Fox & Friends interview below:
In an interview with the Hill, Patton said that she's known Michael Cohen for just as long as he has known President Trump, and that "it doesn't take 15 years to realize somebody is a racist."
Lynne Patton: "I've known Michael Cohen for 10+ years. I've known the President for probably the same amount...Michael Cohen knows I know the truth & the truth is that it doesn’t take 15 years to realize somebody is a racist, unless of course they're not." https://t.co/cWURlDaToV pic.twitter.com/RLf4Q9qePt— The Hill (@thehill) February 28, 2019
She added that she believed Cohen decided to testify solely to get a reduced sentence."