Who is Lynne Patton, the Trump official who fat-shamed a journalist?
From Anthony Scaramucci’s 10-day stint in the White House to the ousting of divisive strategist Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s appointees have courted controversy since last January. And yesterday, January 24th, was no exception. Another Trump official, Lynne Patton, came under fire for fat-shaming a journalist by calling her “Miss Piggy.”
In a since-deleted tweet, Patton, who oversees the Department of Housing and Urban Development for New Jersey and New York, posted a photo of journalist April Ryan.
"I hear #MissPiggys still on a rampage," Patton wrote. "Gee I must've struck a nerve, @AprilDRyan! #BankruptBlogger."
Patton has previously targeted Ryan’s work, calling her “a blogger working for a bankrupt outlet.” Ryan is the White House correspondent for the American Urban Radio Networks.
Patton removed the “Miss Piggy” tweet of her own accord and issued an apology.
"I deleted my last tweet by choice. No one from this Administration contacted me. It was beneath me & I apologize to @AprilDRyan. My parents raised me to respect others & I regret my response. I apologize to them, @SecretaryCarson & the Trump family. They deserved better."
Before her appointment to HUD, Patton helped plan Eric Trump’s wedding and organized several golf tournaments on Trump courses. The event planner began working as the vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation in 2009. In 2012, she became the Trump family’s senior aide and chief of staff. Patton spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention as one of Trump’s senior advisers. In her speech, she acknowledged that racism exists, while defending Trump as a candidate who cared about racial minorities and LGBTQ people.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson appointed Patton to her current position in June 2017 after Trump had assigned her to be Carson’s senior adviser in January. She has no prior experience in housing, despite the fact that her position requires her to coordinate federal housing for one of the largest regions under HUD’s jurisdiction.
After Patton’s appointment, her educational background was questioned. On her LinkedIn profile, she listed the University of Miami, Yale University, and Quinnipiac University School of Law, despite the fact that she does not have a law degree and didn’t graduate from Yale.
Fat-shaming is wrong and especially heinous when it comes from public officials. While we’re glad that Patton deleted her tweet and apologized, we hope that in the future she’ll avoid insulting other women via Twitter, despite the example given to her by the commander in chief.