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New texts cast doubt on Andrew Gillum's 'Hamilton' ticket explanation

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum received a ticket to the Broadway show "Hamilton" from a grou...

Posted: Oct 24, 2018 10:03 AM
Updated: Oct 24, 2018 10:03 AM

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Gillum received a ticket to the Broadway show "Hamilton" from a group that included an undercover FBI agent, according to text and email records released on Tuesday under subpoena by the lawyer for a former Florida lobbyist.

The revelation is the latest development regarding a federal investigation into public corruption in Tallahassee, Florida, where Gillum has been mayor since 2014.The records, which were subpoenaed by the state ethics commissions last week according to the Tampa Bay Times, cast doubt on the explanation from Gillum's campaign that the mayor received the ticket from his brother Marcus.

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The FBI probe centers on whether developers successfully influenced city projects. At one point in the probe, an undercover agent successfully infiltrated Gillum's inner circle. No one has been charged with any wrongdoing.

Gillum has repeatedly said the FBI told him he is not a focus of the investigation. But his attendance at a Broadway show with lobbyist and longtime friend Adam Corey, along with his brother and the federal agent, who went by Mike Miller, has been used by political opponents to suggest Gillum is potentially under more direct scrutiny.

At issue is a 2016 trip to New York, where the group saw the hit musical "Hamilton." Gillum's campaign has said his brother was the source for his ticket. But within the nearly 150 pages of records provided on Tuesday by Corey to ethics officials, text messages between Gillum and Corey present a murkier picture.

In a message from August 8, 2016, Corey texts Gillum saying, "Mike Miller and the crew have tickets for us for Hamilton tonight at 8pm," then asks if Gillum can join them and notes: "I think your brother has already arrived by the way."

Gillum's campaign pushed back against any implication that he had misled the public, saying that his brother, the previously cited source of the ticket, was part of the "crew" cited in the text.

"These records vindicate and add more evidence that at every turn I was paying my own way or was with my family, for all trips, including picking up tickets from my brother, Marcus, who was with a group of his own friends," the campaign said in a statement.

In a Facebook Live video Tuesday night, Gillum dismissed the revelations as "distractions" from his campaign message.

"What I wanted to make sure that folks understood was that these messages only confirm what we have said all along," he said. "We did go to see 'Hamilton.' I did get my ticket for 'Hamilton' from my brother. At the time we believed that they were reserved by friends of Adam's, Mike Miller."

"When I got there after work -- got my ticket, went in and saw it, assumed my brother paid for it and so far as I know that was the deal," he continued.

Gillum's Republican opponent Ron DeSantis commented on the news while speaking in Miami.

"Andrew's running on impeaching Trump. OK, I mean, I don't know what for," he said. "Trump did not receive a free Hamilton ticket from an undercover FBI agent."

In their CNN debate Sunday, DeSantis questioned Gillum about the source of the tickets and who footed the bill.

"Did you pay for the 'Hamilton' ticket, or did the undercover FBI agent pay for the 'Hamilton' ticket?" DeSantis asked.

Gillum never directly answered, but insisted he had -- in general terms -- always paid his own way during his political career.

"We all have friends that sometimes let us down," Gillum said of Corey, while also suggesting DeSantis was using the issue as a not-so-subtle way of trying to provoke a racial backlash in a campaign that could end with the election of Florida's first African American governor.

"I'm a hard working person," Gillum said. "I know that may not fit your description of what you think people like me do."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 517138

Reported Deaths: 10306
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison35086559
DeSoto33512432
Hinds32826644
Jackson24938392
Rankin22621405
Lee16564245
Madison14986283
Jones14195248
Forrest13865260
Lauderdale12343323
Lowndes11401193
Lamar10715140
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Hancock7854132
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Warren6915179
Panola6815136
Neshoba6762210
Marshall6751142
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Union647099
Alcorn5969108
Pike5953157
Lincoln5550136
George511380
Prentiss511086
Tippah498483
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Scott479599
Tate4790118
Adams4789125
Leflore4765144
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Wayne444372
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Marion4313112
Coahoma4263111
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Stone366466
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Chickasaw320867
Winston319092
Clay314378
Clarke302095
Calhoun289550
Holmes273789
Smith271452
Yalobusha246547
Tallahatchie233153
Greene225549
Walthall222266
Lawrence221142
Perry214656
Amite210657
Webster207248
Noxubee188943
Montgomery182857
Carroll176341
Jefferson Davis175043
Tunica164139
Benton153539
Kemper145641
Choctaw138027
Claiborne134939
Humphreys132639
Franklin127130
Quitman107928
Wilkinson106539
Jefferson97334
Sharkey65321
Issaquena1957
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 849409

Reported Deaths: 16199
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1165042004
Mobile744951384
Madison53605739
Shelby38474373
Baldwin38236590
Tuscaloosa36225644
Montgomery34599784
Lee25712264
Calhoun22652520
Morgan22569411
Etowah20084521
Marshall18878318
Houston17806426
St. Clair16987359
Limestone16220222
Cullman16183306
Elmore15967295
Lauderdale15126308
Talladega14275302
DeKalb13099271
Walker12202380
Blount10803193
Autauga10566157
Jackson10237196
Coffee9447192
Colbert9396210
Dale9052192
Tallapoosa7291202
Russell711965
Chilton7101171
Covington6985197
Escambia6972146
Franklin6379108
Chambers5815142
Marion5451132
Dallas5307210
Pike5135109
Clarke485986
Lawrence4857130
Winston4804111
Geneva4658137
Bibb436795
Barbour370880
Butler3446101
Marengo342593
Monroe338666
Randolph338567
Pickens335590
Fayette332785
Henry321566
Cherokee321264
Hale320289
Crenshaw262278
Washington256952
Cleburne255460
Lamar253755
Clay253169
Macon246667
Conecuh193962
Coosa186248
Lowndes178468
Wilcox178338
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Perry141940
Sumter139841
Greene130845
Choctaw94928
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