Andrew Gillum, the Democratic nominee for governor of Florida, on Thursday said the coverage of him receiving tickets to the Broadway show "Hamilton" from an undercover FBI agent is a "sideshow" pushed by his Republican opponent.
Gillum, the current mayor of Tallahassee, said during an appearance on "Morning Joe" that Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.) has used the revelation Gillum received the tickets as a favor in an attempt to distract voters. The Florida Democrat previously claimed he received the tickets from his brother, but records show he received them from an undercover FBI agent looking into city corruption and who was posing as a businessman.
MSNBC host Mika Brezinzski asked Gillum about the issues that have plagued his campaign, which have earned him the nickname "thief" from President Donald Trump and ultimately led a crowd at a Trump rally on Wednesday to chant "Lock him up!"
"Let me ask you about the actual issue, the ‘Hamilton' tickets and the FBI investigation. Any errors in judgement that you can clear up?" Brezinzski asked.
"Let me first say, if the president has called me a thief, if I'm stealing anything it's hearts and minds. We're going to win this race frankly because of that reason," Gillum began. "On the issue, I've said all along I have zero tolerance for corruption. I'm not under FBI investigation, and neither is my city. What we've done is aided them all the way along. ‘Hamilton' has, again, been a sideshow."
Gillum previously claimed he received the tickets from his brother but records show he received them from an undercover FBI agent posing as a city developer.
"This is more the same of what we get from this president and Mr. DeSantis," Gillum said on Thursday. "From day one, he's gone completely to the gutter on this campaign. Not talking to voters about what he wants to do … but rather, trying to distract them with sideshows."
Text messages from Gillum's own lawyer were released to the Florida Commission on Ethics. The records indicated Gillum was aware the tickets to the hit musical came from Mike Miller, the assumed name of an undercover FBI agent who was at the time posing as a developer. The Free Beacon previously reported:
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.
Corey's lawyer, Chris Kise, released the records today, just two weeks before the election, because the state ethics commission issued a subpoena for the records just last week.
The text messages show that, contrary to what his campaign has said, Gillum knew the tickets came from "Mike Miller," who was an FBI agent posing as a developer looking into city corruption.
"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.