Truly stranger than fiction…
According to a report from the Huffington Post published on Thursday, in May 2017, longtime Donald Trump aide Lynne Patton contacted Leah Remini saying the President believes the Church of Scientology should have its tax exemption revoked.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development official told the actress via Twitter direct message:
“From The moment I saw your series I told President Trump & his family we needed to revoke their tax exempt status. They couldn’t agree more, but please don’t publicize that yet. I want to do more due diligence on what the IRS has attempted in the past (or maybe you can enlighten me), then I’ll identify who we need to connect with again.”
On the same day, Patton wrote:
“This is going to get done in the next 4 years or I’ll die trying. Knock on wood!”
While its unclear if Lynne ended up contacting the IRS, if she did with Trump’s blessing, it would be completely unethical and possibly illegal.
According to Larry Noble, former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission:
“For the White House or any administration official to try and influence who the IRS targets, for whatever reason, is wrong and could result in a violation of the law… The IRS must make these decisions independently without any influence by the White House or administration officials.”
Lynne last contacted Remini on June 8 where she sent over a link to a New York Post article about Tom Cruise‘s role in Scientology. The Trump-favorite also wrote in the email:
“By the way, when things calm down about Comey, etc, and I get more due diligence on the IRS, I’ll circle back.”
In an interesting twist of events, the former VP of The Eric Trump Foundation was publicly seen months later with an unnamed Scientologist who is making waves in the Trump world.
Weird, weird, weird!
[Image via Becher/Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.]