Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum (Fla.) on Wednesday said his opponent, Rep. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisDemocrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms California dreaming did not become reality for Republicans Florida landlord requiring proof of vaccinations from tenants MORE (R-Fla.), as well as President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE, have "done everything that they could to undermine the FBI."
Gillum made the comment in response to a question from Fox News anchor Shep Smith, who asked the Tallahassee mayor about an ongoing FBI investigation into corruption in the city's government. Gillum has said he is confident the investigation has nothing to do with him.
"I’ve got no doubt in saying that I don’t expect any trouble my way because I know my conscience, I know how I vote, I know what my values and principles are," Gillum said.
"The difference between me and Ron DeSantis, obviously, when it comes to the FBI, is I’ve welcomed their investigation to get to the bottom of any corruption that might exist," he said. "In his case, he and Donald Trump have done everything that they could to undermine the FBI."
Trump-backed DeSantis has stood by the president as he escalates attacks against Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE and criminal investigations emanating from the Justice Department.
Gillum won Florida's Democratic gubernatorial primary in a stunning upset win on Tuesday, toppling Rep. Gwen GrahamGwendolyn GrahamFlorida Democrats' midterm fantasy faceoff: DeSantis vs. Demings Moderate Democrats now in a race against the clock Dear Iowans: Apologies for Sen. Rick Scott's lack of decency MORE (D), who was favored to win. Many have pointed to his win as evidence that progressives are playing a pivotal role in this year's midterms.
In an April letter to the Justice Department, DeSantis asked the Justice Department to investigate multiple former Obama-era officials including former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyGiuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign DOJ watchdog unable to determine if FBI fed Giuliani information ahead of 2016 election Biden sister has book deal, set to publish in April MORE, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Acting Director of the FBI Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeAndrew McCabe says Nassar case represents 'worst dereliction of duty' he's seen at FBI Capitol Police warning of potential for violence during rally backing rioters: report McCabe says law enforcement should take upcoming right-wing rally 'very seriously' MORE and former FBI Agent Peter Strzok.
"Justice must be blind, not partisan," he wrote at the time. "We must conduct a thorough investigation into the potential abuses of power for politically motivated reasons committed by Justice Department and FBI officials."