Florida AG Pam Bondi mum on job, says Donald Trump ‘doing great things’

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi holds up synthetic drug packaging aimed at kids during a 2014 visit to West Palm Beach. She's been mentioned as a potential drug czar for Donald Trump, but didn't comment on potential appointments today. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi holds up synthetic drug packaging aimed at kids during a 2014 visit to West Palm Beach. She’s been mentioned as a potential drug czar for Donald Trump, but didn’t comment on potential appointments today. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post)

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi met with President-elect Donald Trump today in New York and spoke to reporters afterward in the lobby of Trump Tower.

 

Here’s a transcript provided by pool reporter Lauren Gambino of The Guardian:

 

Q: How did it go?

 

Bondi: “I’m on executive transition so I was here for that. Of course I talk to the President-elect on the phone and great to meet with him today. I can tell you he’s up there doing great things. He’s actually working very, very hard, around the clock, nonstop, to surround himself with the brightest and best people and I’m very proud to be a member of the transition team.”

 

Q. Has he offered you a job?

 

Bondi: “I’m on the transition team and we’re doing everything we can to help him put the best people in place. So right now I’m attorney general of the state of Florida. I think the whole country should be so proud of how hard he is up there working. Most people when they get elected take a vacation. And that man is working around the clock, nonstop with Reince Priebus and with Steve Bannon and the whole team. They’re up there. It’s just a great situation. It’s positive and I think they’re making a huge difference for our country.”

 

Q: Would you like a job on the team?

 

Bondi: “I’m very happy being attorney general of the state of Florida right now.”

 

Q: What did you talk about?

 

Bondi: “I can’t discuss that. I’m a member of the executive transition and I just don’t think that’s appropriate for anyone on the team to be talking out of school.”

 

Q: If he offered you a job, would you accept?

 

Bondi: “I’m AG of Florida right now. Thank you! You guys have a great day.”

Florida 2000 recount vet, past Donald Trump critic John Bolton meets with president-elect

John Bolton, right, was a mustachioed lawyer for George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential recount in Palm Beach County. Bush later tapped him as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)
John Bolton, right, was a mustachioed lawyer for George W. Bush during the 2000 presidential recount in Palm Beach County. Bush later tapped him as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. (Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post)

 

President-elect Donald Trump‘s meetings today in New York include one with John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and influential Republican foreign policy adviser who was a key lawyer for George W. Bush in Palm Beach County during the 2000 presidential recount.

 

Bolton criticized Trump at a Florida delegation breakfast during the Republican National Convention this year, saying Trump’s remarks about NATO were “an open invitation to Vladimir Putin” to be aggressive in Eastern Europe.

 

Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller wouldn’t comment today on whether Bolton is being considered for secretary of state or any other administration post.

 

Trump’s other meetings today include one with Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.

 

In July, Bolton spoke to Florida convention delegates shortly after The New York Times published an interview in which Trump said that if Russia attacked the small Baltic states that recently joined NATO, Trump “would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing whether those nations ‘have fulfilled their obligations to us.’”

 

Said Bolton at the time: “When he (Putin) reads this kind of statement, it’s an encouragement to him. We’re not deterring him, we’re in effect giving him a free hand. So I hope that whoever advised Mr. Trump on this rethinks it.”

 

Bolton said Trump’s remark “doesn’t change my mind about Hillary Clinton and how disastrous she would be, doesn’t change my mind that I’m going to vote for Donald Trump in November, but honest to God, as a Republican Party for half a century or more, we have stood where Ronald Reagan has stood. We want peace but we want American strength to keep the peace.”

 

Bolton was lead attorney for the Bush campaign in Palm Beach County during the 2000 recount. Judge Charles Burton, head of the county canvassing board at the time, called Bolton “the conscientious objector” for his frequent, polite objections to disputed ballots that were counted as votes for Al Gore.

 

“I spent 31 wonderful days in Florida in November and December of 2000,” Bolton said in July. “I can still draw a floor plan of the Emergency Operations Center in West Palm.”

 

 

Countdown to Inauguration Day: What you need to know today

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COUNTDOWN TO INAUGURATION DAY (Jan. 20, 2017): 49 DAYS

LATEST NEWS

THE SCORECARD

Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus

Appointments and nominations made by the Donald Trump administration

WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Reince Priebus

CHIEF STRATEGIST AND SENIOR COUNSELOR: Stephen K. Bannon

SECRETARY OF TREASURY: Steve Mnuchin

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: James Mattis

SECRETARY OF COMMERCE: Wilbur Ross

SECRETARY OF LABOR: Victoria A. Lipnic

SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: Tom Price

SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION: Elaine Chao

SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: Betsy DeVos

SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: Jeff Miller

Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon

ATTORNEY GENERAL: Jeff Sessions

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Michael T. Flynn

CIA DIRECTOR: Mike Pompeo

UN AMBASSADOR: Nikki Haley

Senior White House leadership team, listed on Donald Trump’s official presidential transition website: Vice President-Elect Mike Pence as team chair, with Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, Michael T. Flynn, Rudy Giuliani, Jeff Sessions as vice chairs. The following have also been announced as joining the team’s executive committee: Lou Barletta, Marsha Blackburn, Pam Bondi (currently Florida’s Attorney General), Chris Collins, Jared Kushner, Tom Marino, Rebekah Mercer, Steven Mnuchin, Devin Nunes, Anthony Scaramucci, Peter Thiel, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump.

POSITIONS THAT REMAIN TO BE FILLED: Secretary of State, Interior Secretary, Agriculture Secretary, Energy Secretary, Homeland Security Secretary, EPA Administrator.

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Will Bondi meeting with Trump lead to job, and opening on Florida Cabinet?

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, speaking at last summer's Republican National Convention
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, speaking at last summer’s Republican National Convention

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s scheduled meeting today with President-elect Donald Trump could lead to a job in the new administration — and a coveted opening on the state’s Cabinet.

Bondi has waited and watched as Trump has filled the two highest-profile legal jobs in his administration, with Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general and White House counsel Don McGahn.

As she readied for her Trump Tower meeting today, speculation on a possible Bondi post now centers on the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, the nation’s drug czar.

Bondi has been outspoken in urging state and federal action against prescription drug addiction, an approach Trump also talked about on the campaign trail.

Bondi is term-limited, with just over a year left as attorney general. If she leaves sooner, Gov. Rick Scott gets to appoint her successor.

Serving as interim-attorney general could be a good stepping stone for anyone looking to capture the Cabinet post outright in the 2018 election.

Among possible Bondi replacements are Pete Antonacci, now executive director of the South Florida Water Management District, but a former Scott general counsel who the governor earlier also tapped to serve as an interim Palm Beach County state attorney. Antonacci was former Democratic Attorney General Bob Butterworth’s top deputy for years.

“He serves at the pleasure of the governing board (of the SFWMD),” district spokesman Randy Smith said Thursday, relaying what he said were Antonacci’s comments when asked about the attorney general post. “And he loves his job.”

Other names in the mix: Bondi’s current chief-of-staff, Kent Perez, state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, former Department of Economic Opportunity chief Jesse Panuccio, Tom Grady, a Scott neighbor in Naples and former head of Citizens Property Insurance Corp., and legislative leaders, Senate President Joe Negron, R-Stuart, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, who both are considered long shots because they’d have to surrender top posts as lawmakers.

 

Scott wants 5 percent raise for state law enforcement, saying they have been “put to the test”

Gov. Rick Scott
Gov. Rick Scott

Rick Scott said he wants a 5 percent pay raise for state law enforcement officers included in next year’s state budget, reflecting a demanding 2016 when the governor said responders “were put to the test like never before.”

The $11.7 million proposal would cover 4,000 sworn officers across nine state agencies, including the Florida Highway Patrol, state fish and wildlife officers, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Scott said June’s mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub severely challenged state law enforcement agencies, which later in the year also responded to a pair of hurricanes and a tropical depression that swept across parts of the state.

The governor also noted that he has been to the funerals of 32 officers who died in the line of duty since he took office in 2011.

“I’ve cried with their families and seen the pain and grief in their eyes as they laid their loved one to rest,” Scott said in announcing the initiative at a FHP headquarters in Orlando.

“Becoming a law enforcement officer is a special calling and one that requires a conscience choice each and every day to put your life on the line to protect our communities. We must always do everything we can to recognize our law enforcement officers and let them know how much we appreciate their service.”

The proposal is the first roll-out of portions of the governor’s 2017-18 budget blueprint, with the full document expected to be unveiled next month in advance of the legislative session, which begins in March.

Prospects of a pay raise for the state’s entire, 113,000-person workforce will likely be part of a House-Senate budget battle next year.

While House Speaker Richard Corcoran, R-Land O’Lakes, warns that the state’s budget picture is tighter than economists predict, Senate budget chief Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, has pledged to provide some kind of raise for state workers.

The state’s full workforce has drawn only one pay hike in the last decade, increases in 2013 of $1,400 for workers making under $40,000 a year and $1,000 for those making more. The last straightforward, three percent pay raise came in 2006.

Even the increase three years ago, for many, only partially offset what they’d lost when in 2011, Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-led Legislature ordered state workers to contribute 3 percent of their pay to their state pension fund.

Donald Trump to meet with Florida AG Pam Bondi on Friday

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Donald Trump arriving at a campaign rally in Tampa in August (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Donald Trump arriving at a campaign rally in Tampa in August (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will meet with President-elect Donald Trump in New York on Friday, Trump’s transition team said today.

 

“Obviously she’s been a big supporter of the president-elect on the campaign trail and a friend for a long time,” Trump spokesman Jason Miller said on a conference call with reporters. He didn’t shed light on what Bondi and Trump will discuss.

 

Trump has filled the two highest-profile legal jobs in his administration, tapping Republican Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Don McGahn for White House counsel.

 

Bondi, originally a supporter of Jeb Bush‘s presidential bid, endorsed Trump the day before Florida’s March 15 Republican primary and frequently appeared at Trump rallies in Florida during the campaign. Bondi also spoke at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

 

“I know Donald, and I am proud to know Donald. He will appoint conservative justices who will defend, rather than rewrite, our Constitution,” Bondi said in her convention remarks.

 

Trump and Bondi came under fire during the campaign over a $25,000 donation Trump’s nonprofit foundation made to a pro-Bondi political committee in 2013. The contribution came shortly before Bondi’s office announced it would not to pursue an investigation of fraud allegations against Trump University.

 

Bondi said the contribution didn’t influence her decision and there was nothing improper about accepting it.

 

“I would never, ever trade any campaign contribution…for some type of favor to anyone,” Bondi told reporters in September

 

Trump later paid a $2,500 fine to the IRS because it was illegal for his nonprofit foundation to contribute to a political committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Countdown to Inauguration Day: What you need to know today

countdown-to-inaguration-day

COUNTDOWN TO INAUGURATION DAY (Jan. 20, 2017): 50 DAYS

LATEST NEWS

THE SCORECARD

Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus

Appointments and nominations made by the Donald Trump administration

WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Reince Priebus

CHIEF STRATEGIST AND SENIOR COUNSELOR: Stephen K. Bannon

SECRETARY OF TREASURY: Steve Mnuchin

SECRETARY OF COMMERCE: Wilbur Ross

SECRETARY OF LABOR: Victoria A. Lipnic

SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES: Tom Price

SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION: Elaine Chao

SECRETARY OF EDUCATION: Betsy DeVos

Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon

ATTORNEY GENERAL: Jeff Sessions

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Michael T. Flynn

CIA DIRECTOR: Mike Pompeo

UN AMBASSADOR: Nikki Haley

Senior White House leadership team, listed on Donald Trump’s official presidential transition website: Vice President-Elect Mike Pence as team chair, with Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, Michael T. Flynn, Rudy Giuliani, Jeff Sessions as vice chairs. The following have also been announced as joining the team’s executive committee: Lou Barletta, Marsha Blackburn, Pam Bondi (currently Florida’s Attorney General), Chris Collins, Jared Kushner, Tom Marino, Rebekah Mercer, Steven Mnuchin, Devin Nunes, Anthony Scaramucci, Peter Thiel, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump.

POSITIONS THAT REMAIN TO BE FILLED: Secretary of State, Defense Secretary, Interior Secretary, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Agriculture Secretary, Energy Secretary, Homeland Security Secretary, EPA Administrator.

STORIES THAT MATTERED MOST

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