Trump Camp Walks Back His Claim That He ‘Never’ Spoke With FL AG Pam Bondi

The Donald Trump campaign Tuesday walked back remarks the GOP nominee made Monday denying any communications with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi before his 2013 donation in support of her campaign.

According to Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks, when Trump told reporters he “never” spoke to Bondi about “it,” he meant that he never spoke to her about Trump University, which Bondi was considering suing at the time of the contribution.

“His comments were in reference to any discussion about Trump University — not the donation,” Hicks told Politico.

In a separate AP report Tuesday, Hicks was unable to elaborate on the content of their conversation.

“I don’t think this was a lengthy, memorable call,” Hicks said. “Mr. Trump talks to a hundred people in any given day. So, I don’t know if I will be able to provide that information. That’s not exactly a realistic or reasonable request.”

The donation in question — a $25,000 contribution from the Trump Foundation to a political group supporting Bondi’s re-election — was received just days after Bondi announced her office was considering joining a lawsuit led by New York against Trump University.

Trump denied Monday speaking to Bondi.

“I never spoke to her, first of all. She’s a fine person, beyond reproach. I never even spoke to her about it at all. She’s a fine person. Never spoken to her about it, never,” Trump said, according to the Washington Post. “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.”

Scrutiny of the contribution was renewed last week by a Washington Post report that Trump paid a $2,500 fine to the IRS for making the donation through his charity, rather than from his own pocket. The Trump campaign blamed the move on a clerical error.

“Mr. Trump paid the fine,” Hicks told AP. “All is squared away.”

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: