Pam Bondi says she won't be 'bullied' by Hillary Clinton over Trump donation

Trump charity's donation to Florida AG questioned
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  • The Florida AG received a $25,000 donation from Donald Trump in 2013, after her office began considering an investigation into Trump University

Washington (CNN)Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi declared Tuesday she will not be "bullied" by Hillary Clinton, as the Democratic presidential nominee used a 2013 donation to Bondi to turn the tables on Donald Trump this week.

"I will not be collateral damage in a presidential campaign, nor will I be a woman bullied by Hillary Clinton," Bondi said on Fox Business Network. "Hillary Clinton will not bully me."
    Bondi was pulled back into the spotlight after The Trump Foundation agreed last Thursday to pay a $2,500 fine to the IRS for a $25,000 political donation it made to Bondi's campaign for attorney general at the time. The donation came only days after Bondi's office said it was reviewing allegations against Trump University. A formal investigation was never opened.
    "We've recently learned that his Trump Foundation has been fined $2,500 for illegal activity when it made a political contribution to the attorney general of Florida at the time she was being asked by her constituents to investigate Trump University," Clinton said aboard her campaign plane Tuesday.
    Bondi has become a regular surrogate for Trump, taking on a high-profile position defending the Republican nominee.
    Trump, for his part, has said he never spoke with Bondi about Trump University. Bondi's office says there was never any recommendation of an investigation into Trump University.
    "Of course I asked Donald Trump for a contribution, that's not what this is about," Bondi said Tuesday. "(Clinton) said he was under investigation by my office, at the time, and I knew about it. None of which is true. "
    The Trump Organization alerted the IRS last week that the foundation had given a political gift of $25,000 to Bondi's committee in 2013 and agreed to pay a $2,500 fine because of it, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said. The foundation took back the check and Trump wrote a check from his personal account after discovering the error at the time, Hicks added.
    "The contribution was legitimate, it was sent to the wrong group after a series of errors. This has since been corrected," she said.
    The issue comes after Trump spent two weeks riding a wave of newly released emails to accuse foreign donors of buying special access to then-Secretary of State Clinton through the Clinton's family charity. The accusations against Clinton -- built off emails showing Clinton Foundation aides asking top State Department aides for special meetings for Clinton donors -- have contributed to a significant tightening of the race for the White House with just a little more than two months to go.
    As Clinton supporters accused Trump of paying Bondi to ignore accusations against Trump University, Trump's supporters took to the airwaves to defend him.
    Republican National Committee spokesman and chief strategist Sean Spicer noted that 48 other attorneys general decided not to pursue Trump University.
    "The only one that did was (New York Attorney General) Eric Schneiderman, who is a Hillary Clinton supporter. Of all of the 50 states where this was brought up, only one state pursued it, New York," Spicer said Tuesday on CNN.
    Spicer called the political donation by Trump's charity -- which is against the law -- a "clerical error that was made."
    Asked by CNN's Jake Tapper if Trump's decision to donate to Bondi from his charity undercut his ability to criticize Clinton, former Republican candidate Ben Carson pointed the finger at Democrats and Republicans.
    "One of the things that I learned during my run is that the depth of corruption on both sides is unimaginable," Carson said Tuesday. "Donald Trump has admitted that he knows how the system works and that he has worked with both Democrats and Republicans and that money has been exchanged. You know, he has not tried to hide the fact that has occurred."