Florida Politics

Gillum vacationed with lobbyists, and he says he’ll release those trip receipts soon

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum defeated better-funded frontrunners to become Florida’s Democratic nominee for governor.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum defeated better-funded frontrunners to become Florida’s Democratic nominee for governor. Getty Images

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum gave three national television interviews Sunday morning. In all three, he fielded questions about the status of the FBI corruption probe into his city government.

And on all three programs — CNN’s “State of the Union,” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and MSNBC’s “AM Joy” — Gillum gave what is becoming a familiar answer to the question: He, as the mayor of Tallahassee, welcomed the investigation, and he’s not its target.

His Republican opponent, Ron DeSantis, has tried to “undermine” the FBI investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign, Gillum said.

But on “Meet the Press,” Gillum also offered some new information, saying he planned in coming days to release receipts related to two trips he took in 2016 that have come under scrutiny in the press coverage of the probe.

In May 2016, Gillum reportedly vacationed with friends and lobbyists Sean Pittman and Adam Corey in Costa Rica. It was on that trip that Corey scheduled a meeting between Gillum and an undercover FBI agent posing as a developer via an online calendar invite, the Tallahassee Democrat has reported.

Although Gillum had long been friends with the lobbyists, the trip raised the eyebrows of some ethics experts. Gillum, his friends and their significant others reportedly split a $1,400-per-night villa on the trip. Gillum says he paid for his portion of the trip, but he has not publicly released any receipts.

A separate trip later in 2016 to New York with Corey and the undercover FBI agent, “Mike Miller,” also caused some to ask questions. Gillum took a boat trip arranged by Miller, and may have attended a Mets game and a performance of the musical “Hamilton” with Corey and the agent as well.

Gillum has said he didn’t allow “Miller” to pay for any part of that trip. He said during the primary campaign that he will release receipts from the trips, but has not yet done so.

Gillum cut ties with Corey, who is at the center of one part of the FBI investigation, last year.

Sunday on NBC, the mayor said he would provide evidence that he paid his way on the New York and Costa Rica trips as soon as a Tallahassee ethics board wrapped up its investigation this week.

“My commitment is to make every receipt available because I’ve got nothing to hide,” Gillum told host Chuck Todd on Sunday morning. “I just wanted to make sure the process worked the way it was intended to.”

The FBI probe was far from the only topic of discussion in the TV interviews Sunday. Gillum also talked about how he’ll implement Medicare for all in Florida, and about racist robocalls that targeted him this week — among other topics.