NYC public housing tenants say they aren't Trump supporters but were used in an RNC video to support his campaign
Three New York City public housing tenants who appeared in a video shown at the Republican National Convention told The New York Times didn't know their interview would be used to endorse President Donald Trump. Claudia Perez, Carmen Quiñones, and Manny Martinez said the interview was a chance to air their frustrations with the city's housing authority and Mayor Bill de Blasio, but they don't support Trump. Lynne Patton, head of the New York office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, hit back at the Times' report, insisting in a tweet that participants said the video was "'amazing' and 'wholly accurate.'"
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New York City public housing tenants who were featured in a video for the Republican National Convention told The New York Times they didn't know their interview would be used to endorse President Donald Trump. Claudia Perez, Carmen Quiñones, and Manny Martinez were three of four featured tenants in the video, which was an interview with Lynne Patton, head of the New York office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
pic.twitter.com/RAuKRzEW9e — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2020
The fourth participant told The Times when reached for comment that she did support Trump and knew the purpose of the video. Quiñones, however, told The Times that the interview was focused on airing frustrations with problems in the housing agency, and the tenants' edited comments offer harsh criticisms of Mayor Bill de Blasio. Despite their frustrations with the Democratic mayor, they told The Times they had no intention of supporting Trump. "I am not a Trump supporter," Perez told The Times. "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." Patton hit back at the story and Times reporter Matthew Haag on Twitter, where she said "each resident is on unused tape thanking @POTUS for the "RNC platform" to highlight inhumane conditions & improvements made under this Admin," she wrote. The Times noted that as a government official, Patton is barred by the Hatch Act from using her position to participate in political campaigns. She said in a subsequent tweet that said "every resident" of New York City Housing Authority "knows that I would never allow the @GOPconvention to air anything with which they felt uncomfortable & showed the draft video - in full - to the resident organizer PRIOR to its airing and was told by them that it was 'amazing' and 'wholly accurate.'"
For the record, @matthewhaag refused multiple requests to have a joint conference call w/me & the residents to set the record straight. Each resident is on unused tape thanking @POTUS for the “RNC platform” to highlight inhumane conditions & improvements made under this Admin. https://t.co/LVIssGnDfT — 🇺🇸 Lynne Patton (@LynnePatton) August 28, 2020
The conflict over the clip is just the latest of Trump's contributions to this week's convention that raised eyebrows including a feature of immigrants who became US citizens in a naturalization process but weren't told the ceremony would be aired as part of the convention. Watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said on Twitter that the ceremony was "so obviously, blatantly, insultingly a Hatch Act violation that it's starting to seem like the Trump administration is going out of its way to find new ways to violate the law." SEE ALSO: The biggest moments from the RNC, from apocalyptic speeches to widespread claims Trump misused the White House and his presidential power Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Inside London during COVID-19 lockdown
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Ethics watchdogs slam Mike Pompeo for using a State Department-paid trip to Jerusalem to film his unprecedented Republican convention speech
In an unprecedented and widely condemned move, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will appear at the...In an unprecedented and widely condemned move, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will appear at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday during an official taxpayer-funded trip to the Middle East. Ethics experts say Pompeo's address is likely a violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activities in their official positions. Pompeo himself warned State Department employees in a cable last month that all Department employees — including political appointees — are barred from partisan activity "even on personal time." Pompeo, who considered a run for Senate in Kansas while serving in Trump's administration, has a long and unusual history of engaging in political activities while serving as secretary of state. Ethics groups have also condemned the president and the first lady's use of the White House as the setting for their convention appearances this week. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will appear at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday night in a video he filmed on a taxpayer-funded State Department trip to the Middle East — a move ethics experts say is a clear violation of federal laws. A federal law, known as the Hatch Act, bars federal employees — excluding the president — from engaging in any political activities, including campaigning, in their official capacities. It's unprecedented for a sitting secretary of state to deliver a partisan speech while conducting official state business abroad. Pompeo will make the political case for his boss' reelection — an unprecedented action for a sitting secretary of state — with a view of Jerusalem's Old City in the background. President Donald Trump fulfilled a campaign pledge to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, a provocative move that prompted clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces and that was condemned by some of the international community. This comes after Pompeo reminded all American diplomats about the Hatch Act's limits on political activity in a cable last month, and his decision to participate in the convention appears to contradict his own orders. Pompeo's message to State Department staff pointed out that "US citizen employees and family members may not engage in partisan political activity while posted or on [temporary duty] abroad, even on personal time," and that "presidential and political appointees" are prohibited from "any partisan political activity in concert with a partisan campaign, political party, or partisan political group, even on personal time and outside of the federal workplace." State Department officials defended Pompeo, claiming that he will appear at the convention in his personal capacity and that no taxpayer funds are being used to create his convention video. But critics pointed out that the video was filmed during a four-day state-funded trip to the Middle East for official state department business. "This is perhaps the most egregious example of how Secretary Pompeo has used his position to help serve his own personal political goals," Donald Sherman, the deputy director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, told Pompeo's home state paper The Kansas City Star. Richard Painter, who served as an ethics adviser to President George W. Bush, told The New York Times he would file a Hatch Act complaint against Pompeo over his convention address. "He is on a diplomatic mission and cannot legally use that to endorse the president's political campaign," Painter said. Wendy Sherman, the director of the Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership, called Pompeo's participation in the convention "shameful and harmful." Democratic nominee Joe Biden's campaign called Pompeo's speech an "abuse of taxpayer dollars" and said "it undermines the critical work being done by the State Department." Pompeo, who considered a run for Senate in Kansas while serving in Trump's administration, has a long and unusual history of engaging in political activities while serving as secretary of state. Pompeo met with several major Republican donors while traveling on government-funded official trips, The New York Times reported in May. And Pompeo and his wife, Susan, have also been widely condemned for hosting at least two dozen taxpayer-funded dinners with major fundraisers and prominent GOP politicians since 2018. Ethics groups have also condemned the president and the first lady's decision to use the White House as the setting for their convention appearances this week. On Monday night, Trump appeared in multiple videos filmed inside the White House and will deliver the convention's keynote address on Thursday from the South Lawn. Melania Trump is scheduled to speak on Tuesday night from the Rose Garden.SEE ALSO: Pompeo reportedly privately met with big Republican donors at taxpayer expense while on official State Department trips Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: 7 secrets about Washington, DC landmarks you probably didn't know
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