Lynne Patton, 43, was one of the little-known speakers who took the stage at the Republican National Convention last year, on the night with the theme “Make America First Again.” Since President Donald Trump took office, she has remained in the family orbit, even earning a job at the Department of House and URban Development, despite no experience in government.
On June 14, 2017, The Observer reported that Patton was picked to lead HUD’s New York/New Jersey Office. She was previously a senior adviser to HUD Secretary Ben Carson, who also had no experience in government before he got his job.
Patton is such a close member of the Trump circle that she was on stage with the family when Trump won the 2016 presidential election.
Here is a look at Patton.
1. She Narrated a Video Defending the Trump Family Against Accusations of Racism
In May, Patton narrated a YouTube video called “The Trump Family I Know – A Black Female Trump Executive Speaks Out,” in which she defended the Trump family against accusations that Donald Trump is racist. She stressed that the Trump Organization hired “more minority and female executives than any other company for which I’ve worked.”
“To equate racism with my boss’ call for a temporary moratorium on a flawed immigration system that radical Islamic terrorists continue to exploit, or the construction of an impassible wall to protect our borders from the influx of illegal drugs is not only incendiary,” Patton says in the video. “It’s only irresponsible and only serves to embolden the very hatred these draconian groups espouse.”
Patton told the Daily Mail that she did not tell Trump about the video before posting it on YouTube. He didn’t even see it until Sean Hannity played it for him on Fox News.
In June 2016, The Associated Press reported that it spoke with former executives who didn’t recall Trump having any senior-level African American employees. The AP also reported that Patton was not listed as a vice president for Eric Trump’s foundation on a 2014 tax filing, but as an unpaid director. However, Patton’s LinkedIn page says that she has held the Vice President role since 2011.
On November 10, after Trump was elected President, Patton responded to concerns about the U.S.’ future. She insisted that she does not work for a man who is racist:
To that end, as a black female who has had the privilege to live in several diverse countries around the world, including Africa, I can assure you that there is no way that I would either work for, nor vote for, a man who I didn’t have absolute confidence and faith in that he can – and will – uphold the same moral standards & expectations in Washington, DC., that I know he has instilled in his children, holds within himself & expects of those whom he employs. His, is now an awesome and great responsibility. But so is ours. Not only have my boss, President Obama & Secretary Clinton called upon each & every one of us to come together now as a united people, but as your personal friend and/or family member, I not only dedicate myself to this collective mission, right here/right now, but I wholly expect each & every one of you to reach out to me directly with your concerns, advice and suggestions for a great Administration and an even greater America.
2. She Helps Plan All of the Eric Trump Foundation’s Fundraising Events & Handles its Social Media Presence
According to her bio on the Eric Trump Foundation website, Patton is responsible for planning all of the Eric Trump Foundation’s fundraising events. She also helps the foundation’s relationship with St. Jude’s Research Hospital as senior assistant to Donald Trump’s three oldest children.
“The Trump family that I know is, without question, one of the most generous, compassionate and philanthropic families I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing and the honor to call friends,” Patton says in the March video. “They have been incredibly loyal to me and to the countless dedicated people they employ around the world – hiring more minority and female executives than any other company for which I’ve ever worked.”
Patton also had a hand in the Eric Trump Foundation’s decision to donate $20 million to the Eric Trump Foundation Surgery & Intensive Care Unit Center at St. Jude. “The Eric Trump Foundation Surgery & Intensive Care Unit Center enables St. Jude’s brilliant doctors, researchers and scientists to better treat the most catastrophic and unthinkable illnesses that affect the most precious segment of our society,” Eric Trump said in a statement about that deal.
In September, Patton was interviewed by the Des Moines Register and defended Donald Trump’s own fundraising activities. She claimed that the Donald J. Trump Foundation makes donations to third parties sometimes using “his money.”
“A lot of times Mr. Trump will give a speech somewhere or he’ll raise money in some way and he asks that that entity, instead of cutting a personal check to him, cut it to his charity,” Patton said. “That’s money that otherwise would’ve been in his personal account, right? So when he cuts a check from his foundation for let’s say, St. Jude, it is his money. No ifs, ands or ways about it.”
3. Patton Has Alabama Roots & Graduated From the University of Miami
Patton has Alabama ties, as her father was born in Birmingham. Curtis L. Patton, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases) at Yale University, AL.com. Patton’s mother is a former prep school foreign language teacher, reports The Daily Mail. She’s an only child.
After growing up in Connecticut, Patton went south for college and graduated from the University of Miami with a B.A. in English Literature and Psychology. She then went to Quinnipiac University Law School for two years.
However, Quinnipiac’s school registrar told the New York Daily News that Patton only attended the school for two semesters and didn’t graduate. But Patton claimed on Twitter that she’s never lied.
4. She Calls Eric ‘The Brother I Never Had’
Patton declined to do TV interviews, but after her video testimonial went viral, she did grant the Daily Mail an interview. In it, she says that she has become like a member of the Trump family and has grown very close to Eric and his wife, Lara. In fact, her social media profile pictures have her and Lara smiling together.
“They’ve all become like family members to me – Eric in particular. He is truly the brother I never had and Lara, his wife, has become one of my best friends,” Patton said. “We all go out to dinner together outside of the office and travel together outside the office. It’s just as natural as any other friendships I have.”
Patton said Ivanka also asked her to look over her speech before she introduced Trump when he announced his run for the White House. She also helped plan Lara and Eric Trump’s wedding.
5. She Said Thousands of African Americans Were at the RNC to Support Donald Trump
In response to a NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll that showed Trump had zero percent support from African Americans in Ohio, Patton posted a picture of herself with Dr. Ben Carson. “Don’t tell me Black support for @realDonaldTrump is 0%! They’re 1000’s of us at the #RNC who set the #StatusQuo,” she wrote.
That wasn’t the only poll to show that Trump has an incredible lack of support among black voters. A Quinnipiac Poll released on June 29 showed that Trump had just 1 percent support from the black voters who responded to the poll. Hillary Clinton had 91 percent support.