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Tenants: We Were Duped Into Video for the RNC

'I am not a Trump supporter,' says one of them
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 29, 2020 1:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Those New York City housing tenants who appeared during the Republican National Convention? They're back in the news and crying foul: Three of the four say they were never told the interviews would be used during the RNC, the New York Times reports. "I am not a Trump supporter," says one of them, Claudia Perez. "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." They did, however, praise President Trump's approach to public housing and criticize Mayor Bill de Blasio's. And one of the four said she's a Trump supporter who knew what the video was for. Lynne Patton, a Trump loyalist who manages federal housing in New York, assembled the tenants and interviewed them personally.

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USA Today notes that under the Hatch Act, she's not allowed to engage in partisan political actions—but she later said the White House had cleared her of Hatch Act violations (which she's been accused of before over her social-media activities). Either way, it wasn't the only case of RNC participants being misled: Some of the five people seen sworn in as Americans say they didn't know the footage was for the convention. Democrats and Republicans have exchanged verbal fire over the video, which left the newly minted citizens in an awkward spot. "It was just a happy moment that I was cherishing with my husband," one of them tells the Wall Street Journal. "This is a very great honor that the United States has extended to me." (Read more Republican National Convention stories.)

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