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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bondi breaks silence, does not regret taking Trump's $25,000



Attorney General Pam Bondi on Tuesday morning broke her silence on the political mess surrounding her office and a $25,000 political contribution she accepted from Donald Trump for her 2014 re-election bid.

Bondi appeared on the defensive as she confronted reporters in her first public appearance since the Trump story made national headlines two weeks ago. Her comments came at a last-minute press conference that turned testy with reporters digging in on questions about whether she is fit to do the job of the state's top legal officer. 

She said she wishes she had come out in front of the check allegations early on but says she has no regrets about taking the money because there was “no investigation” in her office over the Trump University complaints.

Asked if her credibility is “shot” with voters, Bondi said, “I hope not” and rejected talk of resignation.

Bondi defended her office, saying she has received about 800,000 calls from consumers and said that a review by one of her lawyers of a 2011 complaint against Trump University was appropriate. 

While internal emails show that high-level Bondi staffers including her chief of staff knew about the complaints against Trump  before she requested his donation in September 2013, she insisted that she "had no idea" until reporting by the Orlando Sentinel that October. 

She also shined a light on some unknown parts of her relationship with Trump, who says Bondi is a good friend. 

Bondi said they met well before she was attorney general, "probably" at the time that she was a regular on Fox News. 

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 9:52am]


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