Trump HUD official: 'I honestly don’t care' if I violate the law

Trump HUD official: 'I honestly don’t care' if I violate the law
PBS NewsHour

Signed into law by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Hatch Act of 1939 forbids most employees of the executive branch of the U.S. government from engaging in some forms of political activity—and Lynne Patton, a HUD official under President Donald Trump, is flaunting a possible violation of it.


Patton serves as a regional administrator for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), reporting to HUD Secretary Ben Carson. On social media, Patton forwarded a tweet that defended Carson while attacking Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

On Facebook, Patton wrote, “Just retweeted this amazing tweet from both of my Twitter accounts, professional and personal. It may be a Hatch Act violation. It may not be.”

Patton added, “Either way. I honestly don’t care anymore.”

Carson drew widespread criticism last week after a congressional hearing in which he was questioned by Rep. Katie Porter of California, Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and others. Questioning Carson about federal housing policies under the Trump Administration, Porter asked the HUD secretary about his familiarity with the real estate term REO: real estate owned. Carson asked Porter, “An Oreo?,” thinking the term REO referred to Oreo cookies.

Responding to criticism of Carson, Patton asserted, “These people are determined to try to ruin and discredit a good man.”

The pro-Carson, anti-AOC tweet that Patton forwarded was written by Minneapolis resident @education4libs, who complained about “liberals” who will “mock Ben Carson for a simple miscommunication yet praise Ocasio-Cortez as if she’s a genius.”

Prior to joining HUD, Patton was an event planner for the Trump family. She helped plan the wedding of Eric Trump (President Donald Trump’s second son) and helped run the Eric Trump Foundation.

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