Controversy surrounding Trump’s campaign donation to Bondi lingers

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, State of Florida photo

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Three years later, controversy continues to swirl around Donald Trump and his campaign contribution to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Trump’s $25,000 donation came shortly before Bondi declined to investigate accusations of wrongdoing by Trump University. Other attorney generals who received money from Trump also declined to investigate.

The questions keep coming about the timing of the contribution to Bondi. And now, Trump’s campaign confirms that Trump paid an IRS fine because of the donation. Charities are barred by law from supporting political activities. The Trump Foundation on its 2013 tax return then incorrectly reported that the $25,000 was paid not to the pro-Bondi political group, but to a similarly named charity in Kansas that got no Trump money.

“He’s gaming the system,” said Democratic Strategist Barry Edwards. That’s the call from Democrats with questions about the $25,000 donation from the Donald J. Trump Foundation.

“It’s a political witch hunt and nobody’s going to bully me by threatening me, accusing me of things that aren’t true into not supporting the candidate of my choice, ” Bondi told News Channel 8’s Keith Cate at the RNC in July.

RELATED: Hillary Clinton bashes Trump during rally at University of South Florida

This week, Bondi explained she requested the donation from Trump to a super PAC supporting her.

“Of course I asked Donald Trump for a contribution. That’s not what this is about. [Clinton] was saying he was under investigation by my office at the time and I knew about it, none of which is true,” said Bondi.

“For her, she needs to say, ‘I made a mistake, I shouldn’t have taken the money.’  It creates the appearance of conflict and she should ask an independent state attorney to do an investigation to make sure that her decision not to charge him and investigate was correct,” said Edwards.

But, the attention really focused on Trump, who in the past has bragged about his giving.

News Channel 8 Exclusive: One-on-One interview with Donald Trump at Hillsborough rally

“I’ve given to everybody, because that was my job. I’ve got to give to them. Because when I want something I get it. When I call, they kiss my a**,” said Trump.

With Trump attacking Clinton for so called “pay for play” involving the Clinton Foundation, some are calling the two scandals comparable.

“I think this is pretty similar. It just shows an attempt by Trump not to deal with the truth,” said Edwards.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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