Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum was caught lying about accepting a ticket to the Broadway show Hamilton on Tuesday after records were released that showed that undercover FBI agents were the ones who gave him the ticket.
Gillum’s campaign claimed on September 4 and again on Tuesday that he received the ticket from his brother, Marcus Gillum.
“Text messages between Gillum and former lobbyist Adam Corey, who arranged outings with undercover agents looking into city corruption, were among more than 100 pages of records Corey gave the ethics commission, which is investigating trips to Costa Rica and New York that Gillum took in 2016,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Corey’s lawyer released the records today after receiving a subpoena from the state ethics commission last week.
The newly released text messages clearly contradict Gillum’s claim, showing that the Tallahassee mayor knew the tickets came from “Mike Miller,” an undercover FBI agent investigating corruption in Gillum’s government who was posing as a developer. The Tampa Bay Times adds:
“Mike Miller and the crew have tickets for us for Hamilton tonight at 8 p.m.,” Corey texted Gillum on Aug. 10, 2016.
“Awesome news about Hamilton,” Gillum replied, according to the records.
Gillum’s campaign said on September 4: “After the trip, Mayor Gillum learned Marcus Gillum had obtained that ticket in a swap with Adam Corey for a concert ticket.”
The Tampa Bay Times noted that Gillum’s campaign again doubled down on his lie, even when presented with contradictory evidence, claiming that the evidence “vindicated” him.
Gillum quickly deflected after being caught lying, claiming, “But this isn’t about a Broadway show, it’s about a sideshow, because Ron DeSantis and his associates have no vision, no healthcare plan, and are running the most false, negative campaign in Florida history. Floridians deserve better.”
Gillum repeatedly dodged questions from his Republican counterpart, Ron DeSantis, about the FBI criminal investigation into members of his inner circle during a CNN debate on Sunday.
“Did you pay for ‘Hamilton’?” DeSantis asked.
Gillum wouldn’t answer.
“Well, Andrew, did you pay — did you pay for the trip?” DeSantis continued to press.
“Congressman, you have your time,” Gillum responded. “I will take mine.”
“Because you won’t answer the question,” DeSantis fired back, later asking, “But question is, did you pay for the ‘Hamilton’ ticket or did the undercover FBI agent pay for the ‘Hamilton’ ticket? Did you pay to stay in the villa in Costa Rica? Where are the receipts?”
“I don’t take free trips from anybody,” Gillum responded, as he avoided answering the question. “I’m a hard working person. I know that may not fit your description of what you think people like me do, but I worked hard for everything that I’ve gotten in my life, and I don’t need anybody handing me anything for free.”