Cronyism: The Trump Administration Appointed A Trump Family Aide As A Senior Adviser To A Cabinet Secretary

Published: February 3, 2018

Lynne Patton: Wedding Planner, “Spousal Responsibilities” Aide, ...... Senior Advisor to a Cabinet Secretary?


On June 26, 2017, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that Lynne Patton had been named the head of HUD’s programs in New York and New Jersey. 


Prior to this, she had been a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson. 


HUD’s press release states that before arriving at HUD, Patton worked for almost a decade as a senior executive at a “large non-profit” in New York City. 


That “large non-profit” turns out to be the Eric Trump Foundation.

According to a resume she submitted as part of her transition to the role, a copy of which was obtained by the Washington Post,  she also worked as an aide to Eric Trump, a role in which she was responsible for, among other things, “coordinating & overseeing all aspects of Eric Trump’s.......spousal responsibilities.” 


She also worked as a senior aide and chief of staff to the Trump family, a role in which she was responsible for “all business and personal obligations” of the Trump children. 


According to her own resume, she had no experience in housing policy prior to her arrival at HUD.


She did, however, help plan Eric Trump’s wedding.


Apparently, such connections to the Trump family are all that is needed to become a regional administrator at HUD in this administration.



This is a clear case of political cronyism.


Prior to her arrival at HUD, Patton had no experience in housing policy; the vast majority of her career had been spent working for the Trump family in various roles.


As such, there is no way to reasonably suggest that she was qualified for her position at HUD at the time of her appointment or that she would have been appointed to the position were it not for her connection to the Trump family.