New York City tenants say they unwittingly appeared in GOP convention video: report

New York City tenants say they unwittingly appeared in GOP convention video: report
© Screenshot NBC coverage of RNC

Tenants who were featured in a Republican National Convention segment on public housing say they had no idea their interview with a federal housing official would be used to support President TrumpDonald TrumpNorth Carolina Senate passes trio of election measures 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday Border state governors rebel against Biden's immigration chaos MORE, The New York Times reports.

“I am not a Trump supporter,” said one of the tenants, 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.”

Perez was one of four tenants featured in the video, which went after New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioThe Hill's Morning Report - Dems to go-it-alone on infrastructure as bipartisan plan falters NYC progressives anxiously watch Maya Wiley's ascent The Memo: New York City mayoral race is harbinger for politics of crime MORE (D) while praising Trump.


The tenants were reportedly contacted by longtime Trump associate Lynne Patton, who works overseeing federal housing programs in the state of New York.

Perez told the Times that tenants were told after their interview that it was for the Republican Party and were never told it was for the convention. She said she learned it was for the GOP convention moments before it aired.

Perez said she asked to see an edited version of the video, but was it was never shared with her.

Another tenant, Carmen Quiñones, said she was upset her words were twisted to support Trump, and that when Patton reached out to her about assembling tenants for the video it was not clear it was for the Republican Party.


Quiñones said she is a lifelong Democrat who plans to vote for Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenJapan to possibly ease COVID-19 restrictions before Olympics 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday China supplies millions of vaccine doses to developing nations in Asia MORE in November, and marched on Friday at the "Get Your Knee Off Our Necks" rally.

She told the Times the video marked an opportunity to speak out about problems at the housing authority and that the clip was not about any political party for her. She added that Patton has been a strong advocate for the housing authority.

Another tenant, Manny Martinez, said he joined the video with little notice and told the Times: "This was not an endorsement of Trump."

The report about tenants saying they appeared unwittingly in the convention video follows another report earlier this week that two women who were part of a naturalization ceremony with Trump said they did not know it would air at the Republican convention.

In a statement to the Times, Patton said the tenants were not misled and accused the Times of twisting tenants' words, claiming she spoke to them and they were upset with the Times report.

“Each participated regardless of political party because they recognized the importance of having a voice on the national stage and the undeniable improvements that have transpired under this administration,” Patton told the newspaper.

Two tenants told the Times, however, that they had not spoken with Patton. A third told the Times that they had spoken with Patton but were comfortable with how they were being portrayed by the newspaper.