Washington (AFP) – US President Donald Trump attacked Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum as a “thief” on Monday, accusing the Tallahassee mayor, who is African-American, of running a corrupt city.
“In Florida there is a choice between a Harvard/Yale educated man named @RonDeSantisFL who has been a great Congressman and will be a great Governor – and a Dem who is a thief and who is Mayor of poorly run Tallahassee, said to be one of the most corrupt cities in the Country!” Trump tweeted.
Trump has been accused of fueling racial tensions. He has described some Mexicans as “rapists,” branded a black congresswoman “low IQ,” and blamed “both sides” for deadly violence at a white supremacist rally last year in Virginia.
The president cited no evidence for his Gillum attack.
The FBI has been conducting a probe of alleged public corruption in Tallahassee, and while Gillum has said he has been told he is not the target, Republicans have used the investigation as a cudgel against him.
The progressive Gillum, who pulled off a shock victory in the Democratic Party primary in August, responded swiftly to Trump, saying on Twitter that the president “is howling because he’s weak. Florida, go vote today.”