Speed Reads

Trump U

Florida attorney general sought, received Trump donation before dropping Trump University case

Four days after Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) said publicly she was considering joining a fraud lawsuit against Trump University filed by her New York counterpart, Eric Schneiderman (D), Donald Trump sent a $25,000 donation to a group backing Bondi's re-election, The Associated Press reports. Oddly, "the money came from a Trump family foundation in apparent violation of rules surrounding political activities by charities." Bondi had personally asked Trump for a political contribution "around the same time" her office was considering the suit, AP says, and after the check arrived, Bondi's office dropped the idea, saying there was insufficient grounds to pursue the now-defunct real estate seminar.

On Monday, a Bondi spokesman, Marc Reichelderfer, said that the attorney general was unaware of the fraud allegations when she solicited money from Trump, and "the process took at least several weeks, from the time they spoke to the time they received the contribution." AP looked and found more that 20 complaints filed with the Florida attorney general's office by people seeking help to get refunds from Trump University and its affiliates; Bondi said she had received only one consumer complaint about Trump U when she decided not to pursue the case. On Monday, her office said most of the complaints were against the Trump Institute, a company licensed by Trump to run the Trump University seminars.

Last week, AP reported that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) had similarly considered and declined to pursue a fraud case against Trump University in 2010, when Abbott was attorney general; he got a $35,000 donation from Trump three years later. (Former Texas Deputy Chief of Consumer Protection John Owens says the Trump case was strong and dropped it for political reasons.) Trump, AP notes, frequently brags about buying and selling politicians on the campaign trail. "When I want something I get it," he said in January at a rally in Iowa, for example. "When I call, they kiss my ass. It's true." You can read more at AP.