Watch CBS News

NYCHA Residents Say Former Federal Official Tricked Them Into Sounding Supportive Of President Trump For RNC Video

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A former Trump official is admitting she abused her position by tricking NYCHA residents into sounding like they supported Donald Trump.

NYCHA resident Carmen Quinones says she's been a Democrat for her entire life, but last summer, she was featured in a video at the Republican National Convention.

In the video, one NYCHA resident says, "Bill de Blasio and the way he has dealt with public housing residents is disgraceful ... President Trump's administration have opened their ears and have listened."

As an administrator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development under former president Trump, Lynne Patton interviewed NYCHA residents about their housing conditions.

"The agreement was that we were going to tell our story of public housing. That was not done," Quinones told CBS2's Ali Bauman.

After the two-minute video aired at the RNC in August, many of the featured tenants said they were tricked into sounding supportive of Trump.

"We didn't sign up for that," Quinones said.

The nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint against Patton, and Tuesday, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel said she "improperly harnessed the authority of her federal position to assist the Trump campaign in violation of the Hatch Act."

As part of a civil settlement, Patton admitted the violation, according to the agency. She is barred from federal office for four years and must pay a $1,000 fine.

"The real culprit is Trump. It wasn't Lynne Patton. They threw her under the bus," Quinones said.

In a statement to The Washington Post on Tuesday, Patton claimed she had permission from the HUD general counsel and followed their directives to a T.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.