Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum slapped back at Donald Trump late Monday in a post to Twitter, comparing the president to a pig even as he claimed to be unwilling to trade insults with Trump.
Trump, an endorser of GOP nominee Ron DeSantis in Florida’s tight gubernatorial race, labeled Gillum — without elaborating — a “stone cold thief” in an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham on Monday night.
Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, Fla., responded to the president on Twitter, writing: “I heard @realDonaldTrump ran home to @FoxNews to lie about me. But as my grandmother told me — never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it. So ignore him and vote, Florida!”
Gillum has been the subject of criticism in recent days after records released by the Florida Commission on Ethics showed that he accepted tickets to the Broadway musical “Hamilton” from an undercover FBI agent in 2016, though Gillum’s campaign has insisted that the proper procedures were followed on the trip.
Trump has also attacked Gillum over his track record as mayor of Tallahassee, telling Ingraham that Florida’s capital city “is known as the most corrupt in Florida and one of the most corrupt in the nation.”
There is an ongoing FBI investigation into possible corruption at Tallahassee’s City Hall, and though Gillum has not personally been implicated in the probe thus far and says he’s been told he is not a focus of the investigation, he has faced accusations of ethics violations throughout the campaign.
Gillum and Trump also exchanged barbs earlier Monday, after the president tweeted praise of DeSantis noting that the GOP nominee was a “Harvard/Yale educated man” and not a “thief” like Gillum.
Gillum responded by calling out the president for not having the “courage” to tag him in the tweet. Trump “is howling because he’s weak,” he added.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday would not elaborate on the president’s claims that Gillum is a “thief,” telling reporters that “that individual’s under FBI investigation. I would refer you to that.”