Photo: AP

On Monday, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi endorsed Donald Trump for president. In 2013, Bondi’s office declined to investigate Trump University after Trump donated $25,000 to her re-election effort. “I know the system far better than anybody else and I know the system is broken,” Trump said last week.

“Donald and I have been friends for many years,” Bondi said Monday, praising Trump’s qualities as a family man. Whether anyone can be friends with Donald Trump is probably an open question, but it is certainly true that the pair are friendly. The Miami Herald recalls:

In the fall of 2013, Bondi was preparing for a re-election bid and a for-profit college called Trump University had just been sued by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The lawsuit alleged that Trump University had “scammed” more than 5,000 people out of more than $40 million by falsely promising to teach them the tools to Trump’s real estate success.

With media scrutiny mounting, the Donald J. Trump Foundation that September contributed $25,000 to And Justice for All, a political committee controlled by Bondi.

Florida never followed New York’s lead. Although there were complaints in Florida, the state never opened an investigation.

At the time, Trump wouldn’t answer questions about why he was contributing to the Florida attorney general’s race, but he did call Bondi “a fabulous representative of the people” and Schneiderman “a political hack.”

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Meanwhile, in last week’s debate, Trump criticized his rivals over their dependance on Super PACs. “There is total control of the candidates,” he said. “I know it better than anybody that probably ever lived. And I will tell you this: I know the system far better than anybody else and I know the system is broken.”

“I know it so well because I was on both sides of it. I was on the other side all my life and I’ve always made large contributions. And frankly, I know the system better than anybody else and I’m the only one up here that’s going to be able to fix that system because that system is wrong.”

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Initially known as “Trump University,” the real-estate scam is now facing at least two multimillion dollar lawsuits—one in California and one in New York—after splitting into two organizations: the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative and the Trump Institute of Boca Raton.


H/T The Intercept. Contact the author at brendan.oconnor@gawker.com.