Donald Trump Reportedly Considers Action Against Church of Scientology

President Donald Trump thinks the Church of Scientology should lose its tax exemption status, according to messages a longtime family aide sent actress Leah Remini in May.

Lynne Patton, who worked as a party planner for the Trump family before the 2016 election and is now the head of New York's federal housing office, sent the messages to Remini on Twitter earlier this year. Remini shared the messages, which she says were unsolicited, with the HuffPost. The Kevin Can Wait star offered no further comment.

In May, Patton tweeted to Remini, asking her to send a direct message. "Hi Lynne would love any help you can give," Remini wrote on May 30.

According to a screenshot Remini shared, Patton told her Trump saw her A&E docuseries Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath.

"From the moment I saw your series I told President Trump & his family we needed to revoke their tax exempt status," Patton wrote to Remini. "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."

Patton continued, "This is going to get done in the next 4 years or I’ll die trying. Knock on wood!” She also told Remini she could contact her through her "personal email or cell" to discuss "anything you can share," adding, "I know they buried the IRS in frivolous litigation."

Remini wrote Patton on May 31, thanking her for approaching her. Patton replied with a quick email, asking for more information on Scientology.

"I look forward to doing my part to help put an end to this ongoing nightmare and blatant misuse of our IRS rules & regulations," Patton wrote. "I want to do more research on Scientology’s history with the IRS, to date, so that I can better understand what tactics have been applied and where we can pick up. Would you have any of this information handy? If not, I will obtain it from the agency directly, Kindly advise!"

The HuffPost reports that it's not known if Patton contacted the IRS. The White House hasn't commented on the report, but if Patton did so, it would be an unprecedented move by an administration to influence the IRS.

According to the IRS, a church tax inquiry can only be started if "an appropriate high-level Treasury official reasonably believes, on the basis of facts and circumstances recorded in writing, that an organization claiming to be a church or convention or association of churches may not qualify for exemption."