Sen. Rick Scott lobbied Trump not to use Florida disaster money

Concerned Scott called Thursday night

By ELIZABETH LANDERS, CNN
Copyright 2018 CNN

Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott is filing three lawsuits against county election officials as a recount has gotten underway in the Senate contest between himself and Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson

(CNN) - Republican Sen. Rick Scott was just sworn into office on Tuesday, but by Thursday he was on the phone with President Donald Trump lobbying him not to use Florida disaster money for a border wall.

A concerned Scott, who delayed his start in Washington to serve the final days of his term as governor, called Trump on Thursday night after seeing reports that the White House may use disaster funding to build the southern border wall, according to a source familiar with the call.

The call, which occurred when Trump arrived back in Washington from his trip to Texas, lasted between 10 and 15 minutes, according to this source, who said it was "mostly about the reports about Florida disaster funds" and that Scott was seeking "clarification on the reporting."

The conversation left Scott feeling better about the situation and he now has "no reason to believe that Florida disaster funds will be repurposed for any reason," the source said.

Scott made a point on the campaign trail to make clear he would not always agree with Trump on every issue.

"If it is good for Florida, I am going to agree with the President. If it is bad for Florida, I am going to oppose it," Scott said in an interview with CNN in September.

Scott also rebuked the President's comments that same month that the death toll numbers in Puerto Rico from 2017's Hurricane Maria were inflated by Democrats, tweeting at the time, "I disagree with @POTUS-- an independent study said thousands were lost and Gov. Rosselló agreed. I've been to Puerto Rico 7 times & saw devastation firsthand. The loss of any life is tragic; the extent of lives lost as a result of Maria is heart wrenching. I'll continue to help PR."

Florida's senior senator, Republican Marco Rubio, wrote on Twitter on Friday that he also opposed the move, tweeting, "I do not believe the White House will divert money from #Florida disaster recovery to fund border security. But if some reason they try, I will do everything I can to overturn such a decision."

The White House did not return request for comment.

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