Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum hit back at reports that he accepted gifts from an undercover FBI agent, accusing Republicans of racism for bringing up the issue.
While the Tallahassee mayor's office is under investigation for corruption, Gillum has maintained that he never received gifts or favors from men he believed to be lobbyists. But documents obtained by the Tampa Bay Times Tuesday indicate Gillum knew that "Hamilton" tickets and hotel fare he received came from a man identified as "Mike Miller," an FBI agent posing as a businessman.
In response, Gillum filmed a Facebook Live video from a basketball court in Richmond Heights maintaining his innocence and attacking Florida Republicans for spreading the story.
"The Republicans obviously want to distract, want to suggest-- all along on the trail they’ve wanted the people of this state to believe somehow I haven’t deserved what I’ve gotten, I’m unethical, participated in illegal and illicit activity. I mean, you name it," he said.
"The goal is obviously to use my candidacy as a way to reinforce, frankly, stereotypes about black men," said Gillum, who is African American.
He continued, saying his Republican opponent Ron DeSantis was in a "desperation period" and was "going to the gutter of politics in this state."
"[Floridians] are sick of racist attacks, we're sick of bigoted attacks, we're sick of divisive language and strategy..." he said. "We don't want a Donald Trump look-a-like, we don't want a Donald Trump act-a-like."