While Donald Trump continues to refer to his Democratic rival as “Crooked Hillary,” his “pay-to-play” scandal in Florida with AG Pam Bondi makes it look like he’s the real crook.
Three years ago Bondi’s office was considering joining New York State’s lawsuit against Trump and Trump University — and then she wasn’t.
Here’s the backstory:
Trump has flatly denied ever speaking to the Florida AG about his (ahem) charitable foundation’s contribution to her campaign in 2013. But his comments contradict an AP story in which Bondi herself never disputes the claim that she solicited the contribution personally.
“I never spoke to her. First of all, she’s a fine person beyond reproach,” Trump told reporters traveling on his plane, according to CBS News‘ Sopan Deb. “I never even spoke to her about it at all. She’s a fine person. Never spoken to her about it. Never. Many of the attorney generals turned that case down because I’ll win that case in court, many turned that down. I never spoke to her about it.”
Bondi claims he’s lying.
During the GOP primary debates Trump repeatedly boasted that he knows how to get politicians to do his bidding, explaining that he donated to both Republicans and Democrats, just in case he needed a favor.
“You know what? When I need something from them, two years later, three years later, I call them, and they are there for me,” he said. “And that’s a broken system.”
The Washington Post reported that Trump covertly paid a fine to the IRS for potentially trying to bribe Bondi. The $2,500 tax penalty was paid after the Donald J. Trump Foundation did not list a $25,000 donation in 2013 to a political group affiliated with her office.
So, this is where we leave it — for now:
Trump got exactly what he wanted from Bondi, and kept his mouth shut about it.
Bondi did not.
So it would seem the Republican nominee isn’t as great at buying politicians as he claims.
As New York magazine writes: If Donald Trump were really as good at influencing politicians as he claims, he would have made Bondi promise not to contradict his explanation when his $25,000 gift turned into a scandal.
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