Ronald Kessler, a former Washington Post and Wall Street Journal investigative reporter, is the author of The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents, The Secrets of the FBI, and The Season: Inside Palm Beach and America's Richest Society.
A viral video by Trump executive Lynne Patton that refutes the notion that Donald Trump is a bigot and a misogynist began with dramatic events on the evening of March 17.
That is when Lara Trump, the wife of Donald Trump's son Eric, opened a letter just before 7pm in the kitchen of the couple's apartment on Central Park South in New York. To her horror, white powder spilled from the envelope onto the kitchen table.
Fearing for her life, Lara grabbed her keys and Charlie, the couple's miniature Beagle, Lynne Patton tells Daily Mail Online in an exclusive interview, and ran the three blocks to Eric's office on the 25th floor of Trump Tower.
By 7.15pm, New York City police and Emergency Services teams were swarming Eric's office.
They seized Lara's clothing and sent a team to their apartment to confiscate the envelope for testing. A note inside warned, 'If your father does not drop out of the race, the next envelope won't be a fake.'
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Lynne Patton, 43, is one of the most trusted members of the Trump Organization. She considered the Trumps family and rejects any suggestion that Donald is a racist or a misogynist
Donald Trump employee Lynne Patton (bottom right) has slammed people who align the Republican presidential candidate and his family with racist and hate mongering groups
Patton, vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation and senior assistant to the Trump family, has grown particularly close with Eric Trump and his wife Lara (left)
Trump has five children: Eric (front left), who is married to Lara (center left), Don Jr (front right), who is married to Vanessa (rear left), Ivanka (center right), who is married to Jared Kushner (rear right), Tiffany and Barron Trump (not pictured)
Trying to develop leads, Secret Service agents joined the detectives as they interviewed Lara, a CBS producer; Eric, who is executive vice president of the Trump Organization; and Patton. The effort stretched to midnight.
Patton is not a member of the family, but she is treated as such. The 43-year-old is vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation and senior assistant to the Trump family.
It may surprise Trump naysayers that Patton is black.
One of the most trusted members of the Trump Organization, Patton is involved in identifying entities worthy of receiving millions of dollars of Trump money and is privy to Trump family members' personal lives and confidential information. On a daily basis, she helps coordinate Eric's, Don Jr's, and Ivanka's initiatives with their CEO father and his team.
After the harrowing evening at the office, Patton returned to her apartment, which she shares with longtime boyfriend Andrew Hayduk III, who owns a New York-based construction company. It was close to 1am. Unable to sleep and incensed by the attack, she began writing a 795-word letter.
'As a black female executive at The Trump Organization, I can no longer remain silent about the repeated and reprehensible attempts to align my boss and his family with racist hate-mongering groups, campaigns, and messaging,' she says.
On May 2, Patton released a five-minute YouTube video entitled 'The Trump Family That I Know'.
So far, the video has gotten more than three million views. It is difficult to watch without tearing up.
If the powerful video demonstrates that claims that Donald Trump is a racist who hates women are mythology, you would never know it from the response of the mainstream media. Nearly all newspapers and networks have ignored it.
'Why would they promote something like that when it undercuts the narrative that Donald Trump is a demon?' Patton poses to Daily Mail Online.
Patton (pictured second left with Lara Trump, center, Shanna Cain, left, Torry Hixon, second right, and Vivana Freije, right) says she is treated like part of the Trump family and that they 'have been incredibly loyal' to her over the years
Patton (pictured right with Cain, second left, Lara Trump, center, Hixon, second right, and Freije, right) published a heartwarming letter of support about the Trumps earlier this month
Fox & Friends, Megyn Kelly, Sean Hannity and Greta van Susteren of Fox News have asked Patton to appear on their shows.
She has declined and instead chose to give an exclusive interview about the video and the Trump family to this author and Daily Mail Online.
Sitting at Trump Grill, an upscale restaurant in the lower lobby of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, Patton is a dynamo, fresh-faced with minimal makeup, a bit of lipstick.
Designer sunglasses perched on top of her head add a little height and help organize her hair, long brown cascades with blond highlights. She's confident but not off-putting, a good storyteller with a gift for mimicking the people she is quoting.
Her father a doctor and retired School of Medicine professor and her mother a retired prep school foreign language teacher, Patton grew up an only child in New Haven, Connecticut, she tells Daily Mail Online. She attended Tabor Academy, a private school on Cape Cod.
After graduating from the University of Miami with a bachelor's degree in English literature, she attended Quinnipiac University School of Law for two years. Following stints as a paralegal in Connecticut and an aspiring actress in Los Angeles, she began working for event planning and marketing organizations.
A mutual friend introduced her to Eric Trump, and Patton began working for the Trump Organization in 2009, planning events and acting as an assistant to Eric, Don Jr, and Ivanka.
She quickly picked up on one of the secrets to Trump's success: 'You don't ever not do what Mr Trump wants,' she notes.
Patton rose to become senior assistant to the Trump offspring who are Trump executives and to help oversee Eric's foundation, which primarily donates money to St Jude's Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.
In the video, the six-year Trump executive decries the vile threats and increasing violence from protesters targeting Trump.
'Only up until now, it's all just been opposing campaign rhetoric and paid protesters,' Patton says in the video. 'But then a letter came.... And I thought to myself: Who does this person think he is to threaten to kill someone else's family...any family. This family. My family. All because of a political race? A campaign?'
Patton says that identifying Trump a racist because he has called for a temporary moratorium on a 'flawed immigration system that radical Islamic terrorists continue to exploit - or the construction of an impassable wall to protect our borders from the influx of illegal drugs - is not only incendiary, it's wholly irresponsible and only serves to embolden the very hatred these draconian groups espouse.'
Patton asks in the video, 'What common-sense American wants another terrorist attack on our soil or to perpetuate this country's rampant drug epidemic?
'But to compare my boss to Adolf Hitler simply to spin your own political agenda or social media punch line is a personal affront to the extermination of over six million Jews and trivializes one of the worst acts of human genocide this world has ever seen.'
In a letter penned to those who do not support Trump, Patton says Trump and his family (pictured above are Trump's children and spouses) treat her like she's a relative and says they're always welcoming
Patton (pictured in back in a group selfie with Eric Trump) says that the Trump family has stood by her side during 'immensely difficult times without hesitation or concern for their own reputation by association'
In fact, 'The Trump family that I know is, without question, one of the most generous, compassionate and philanthropic families I've ever had the privilege of knowing and the honor to call friends,' Patton says.
'They have been incredibly loyal to me and to the countless dedicated people they employ around the world - hiring more minority and female executives than any other company for which I've ever worked.'
Choking up, she says in the video, 'Like many Americans, I have struggled with substance abuse and addiction. The Trump family has stood by me through immensely difficult times without hesitation, nor concern for their own reputation by association.
'They continue to trust me with every aspect of their lives and the lives of their families. They invite me into their homes and welcome me at their family gatherings.'
Patton's defense and support of Trump are not linked to her employment but rather to the facts surrounding the presidential race, she says.
'As the daughter of a man born in Birmingham, Alabama, who rose against all odds to become one of the most established and respected doctors at Yale University, there is no amount of money in the world that could buy my loyalty to a family that subscribed to such intolerant and bigoted ideologies,' she says.They've all become like family members to me - Eric is truly the brother I never had and Lara, his wife, has become one of my best friends. We all go out to dinner together outside of the office and travel together outside the office.
Patton deliberately chose not to seek approval from the Trump family before going public. She feared that they would be more concerned for her safety than for their own reputations.
Indeed, the presidential candidate did not know about the video until Sean Hannity played it for him on his Fox News Channel show on May 3.
'That was so beautiful from Lynne... She is so amazing,' Trump said with emotion.
The growing body of Trump mythology extends to Trump's business acumen with the claim that when he started his company, he was already wealthy from an inheritance from his father.
'But wait, you say, isn't he a huge business success that knows what he's talking about?' Mitt Romney said in his Utah speech attacking Trump. 'No he isn't... He inherited his business. He didn't create it.'
In fact, while Trump's father gave him a $1 million loan that he repaid with interest, by the time Fred Trump died in 1999, Trump was already worth $1.6 billion, according to Forbes.
Valuing her honesty and judgment, Trump family members ask Patton's opinion on a range of matters.
Before Ivanka introduced her father when he announced for the presidency, she asked Patton for her opinion of the speech.
Patton was also entrusted by Eric and Lara Trump to work alongside famed wedding planner Preston Bailey and played a primary role in coordinating their Palm Beach nuptials.
'They know I'm not a 'yes' person and they respect that,' Patton notes. 'It's extremely humbling that they trust you with those types of contributions and value your opinion.
Patton says that the Trump family members (including Lara, left) have asked for her opinion on a wide range of matters
Patton says the Trump family welcome her to family gatherings and trust her 'with every aspect of their lives'
'They've all become like family members to me - Eric in particular,' Patton tells Daily Mail Online. 'He is truly the brother I never had and Lara, his wife, has become one of my best friends. We all go out to dinner together outside of the office and travel together outside the office. It's just as natural as any other friendships I have.'
'Donald Trump is a bigot and a racist,' Dana Milbank of the Washington Post wrote.
'Donald Trump has one core belief...misogyny,' according to Slate.
Tell that to Patton.
Given what Trump family members face every day, 'I was 100 per cent prepared for the backlash that I anticipated from releasing this video,' Patton says. 'I read on a daily basis the vitriol that family members receive. Every time they go on TV, it's everything from their looks, to what they were wearing, to what they said, to the color of their tie, to the way their hair is styled.'
Naturally, Patton's own family and boyfriend were concerned for her the most.
'I'm an extremely strong-willed and thick-skinned person,' Patton says. 'Maybe it's a testament to my upbringing, but my parents have always instilled in me a strong sense of confidence.
'I have never wanted for anything - not just monetarily, but emotionally, academically, and spiritually. Words don't necessarily affect me, and even if they did, it certainly wasn't going to keep me from speaking out.'
Source : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3605597/Donald-Trump-bigot-misogynist-Don-t-tell-Lynne-Patton-African-American-Trump-executive-oversees-MILLIONS-charitable-donations-battled-addiction-family-s-support.html