Texts suggest Andrew Gillum received 'Hamilton' tickets from undercover FBI agent

Posted at 9:18 PM, Oct 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-23 23:25:12-04

Two weeks before the November midterm elections, Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate for governor continues to be plagued with questions and allegations about corruption.

The accusations are about how, when, and where Gillum received tickets to the Broadway musical "Hamilton" and who paid for some of his trips to New York City and Costa Rica.

At a CNN debate, his opponent Ron DeSantis (R) hammered the Tallahassee mayor about his record.

"Did you pay for Hamilton?" DeSantis asked.  

"You have your time. I will take mine," Gillum responded.

Gillum never directly answered DeSantis' question.

In previous statements, Gillum's campaign said he got the tickets to "Hamilton" from his brother, Marcus.

But, according to newly released documents first obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, those statements are now in question.  

Text messages between Gillum and a former friend and lobbyist Adam Corey don't mention Gillum's brother.

Corey writes in a text message on Aug. 10, 2016, "Mike Miller and the crew have tickets for us for Hamilton."

Gillum responds, "Awesome news about Hamilton."

The documents identify Miller as a long time friend of Corey. The Times reports that "Miller" was posing as a developer investigating city corruption.  

The documents identify the undercover agent as "Mike Miller Real Estate."

Late Tuesday afternoon Gillum went on Facebook Live to talk about the text messages. 

"These messages only confirm what we have said all along.  We did go to see Hamilton.  I did get my ticket for Hamilton from my brother.  At the time, we believed that they were reserved by friends of Adam's, Mike Miller, and when I got there after work got my ticket, we went in and saw, it assumed my brother paid for it and so far as I know that was the deal."

Gillum goes on to say that this is all just a distraction.

"The goal is obviously to use my candidacy as a way to reinforce, frankly, stereotypes about black men," Gillum said in the nearly 4-minute live video.  

"What I want you all to know is I work hard.  As the fifth of seven kids to my mother and father and the first to graduate from high school, I learned early you don't take anything for free, you certainly don't take anything for granted, that's your word is your bond. And as my grandmother used to say, 'always tell the truth, because when you tell the truth, you don't have to worry about lies.  You don't have to worry about covering up for lies.'"

Text messages less than a month before the New York City trip show that Miller texted Corey multiple times to discuss travel arrangements and booking boat trips around the city, Miller telling Corey via text, "send me the Mayor and his brother's information and I will have my girl book their flights."

That text from July 13, 2016, was followed up with another on July 19, 2016, where Miller explains to Corey more details about a trip out onto a boat, "we will take the boat out and cruise around. It will be catered and drinks," Miller texted.

Following the release of the documents Gillum's campaign sent this statement to ABC Action News:

"These records vindicate and add more evidence that at every turn I was paying my own way or was with my family, for all trips, including picking up tickets from my brother, Marcus, who was with a group of his own friends. But this isn't about a Broadway show, it's about a sideshow, because Ron DeSantis and his associates have no vision, no healthcare plan, and are running the most false, negative campaign in Florida history. Floridians deserve better."