On Tuesday, Huffington Post reporter Ja'han Jones caught up with Lynne Patton, a Housing and Urban Development official and one of the only high-ranking black women in the Trump administration, on a subway train, and demanded to know why she defended the president's racist attacks on Baltimore and House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings' district as a "disgusting, rodent and rat infested mess."
"Ms. Patton, good evening to you," said Jones. "Do you have any comments about the president's references to the city of Baltimore as vermin-infested?"
"I've already spoken about that on Fox News last night," said Patton, who had no significant experience in housing prior to being appointed by Trump and primarily worked as an event planner. Her boss, Ben Carson, will reportedly visit Baltimore in the coming days.
"I know you oversee HUD, but a lot of those people live in buildings that are in Baltimore," said Jones. "Do you have any comments for them? Just in reference to the president calling their city vermin-infested?"
"Well, I just closed a children's school in Harlem because rats were falling from the ceilings, so it is vermin-infested," said Patton.
"What about Baltimore though, specifically?" Jones pressed her.
"The president gave Elijah Cummings' district $16 billion last year," said Patton.
"But I'm asking you specifically, as someone who oversees HUD, you have a lot of residences that are in Baltimore," said Jones. "What do you say to the people who live in Baltimore that take offense to that?"
"I don't know why they would take offense," said Patton.
"He called the city vermin-infested, is it vermin-infested?" said Jones.
"It is vermin-infested," replied Patton.
"A lot of those buildings are buildings that you oversee, though," said Jones. "Isn't that your responsibility? Is that your responsibility to oversee?"
"It's not mine, actually," said Patton. "I oversee New York and New Jersey."
"Okay, but I'm asking, is that the Trump administration's responsibility to make sure that these buildings are not vermin-infested?"
"No, it's actually run by the mayor," said Patton, implicitly contradicting Trump's claim that Cummings was to blame for the state of Baltimore.
"But he's the president," said Jones.
Happened to catch up with @LynnePatton on the train and was eager to discuss her defense of Trump’s racist comments… https://t.co/CLc6I00dDP— Ja'han Jones (@Ja'han Jones) 1564526615.0