Lynne Patton, official who sat behind Meadows at Cohen hearing, fires back at Tlaib: Not 'a prop'

Trump associate Lynne Patton on Thursday defended President Trump and struck back at a Democratic lawmaker's suggestion that she was used as a "prop" during the explosive Michael Cohen hearing on Capitol Hill.

“I was not there to represent an entire race of people. I was there to represent one man,” Patton told “Fox & Friends” on Thursday, touting Trump’s economic record and what those gains have meant for black Americans.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., had invited Patton, a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official who is black, as a guest at the House Oversight Committee hearing, to counter former Trump attorney Cohen’s claim that Trump was a “racist.”

“She says that as a daughter of a man born in Birmingham, Alabama, that there is no way that she would work for an individual who was racist,” Meadows told Cohen.

Later in the hearing, freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., seemed to accuse Meadows of using a black woman “as a prop.”

Meadows blasted Tlaib’s charge. “My nieces and nephews are people of color. Not many people know that,” he said. “And, to indicate that I asked someone who is a personal friend of the Trump family, who has worked for him, who knows this particular individual, that she’s coming in to be a prop? It’s racist to suggest that I ask her to come in here for that reason.”

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Patton herself fired back on Instagram, saying: "Today a race card was played. But not by Congressman Mark Meadows. But rather by those on the House Oversight Committee who sadly placed more credence on the word of a self-confessed convicted perjurer, than that of a highly-educated black woman who rose up the ranks of one of the most recognized global real-estate companies in the world, spoke before 25 million people at the Republican National Convention and now successfully oversees the largest HUD program office in the country.

"That is not the resume of a prop," she added.

During an interview with The Hill, Patton also offered support for Trump.

“I’ve known Michael Cohen for 10-plus years. I’ve known the president for probably the same amount of time. Michael Cohen knows I know the truth and the truth is, is that it doesn’t take 15 years to realize somebody is a racist, unless of course, they are not,” Patton said.

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She went on to say that she believed that Cohen was testifying on Capitol Hill this week to “get a reduced sentence.”

Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for offenses including tax fraud and lying to Congress.