Politics - News Analysis
REPORT: Trump Family is Abandoning Matt Gaetz During His Hour of Greatest Need
Now that Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) is in the crash-and-burn phase of his career, you’d think prominent members of the GOP, including former President Donald Trump, would stick their necks out to defend him. Especially since Gaetz is an unabashed Trump supporter.
But that’s not what’s happening, Politico reports. Instead, Trump and his cronies are treating him as if he’s the bubonic plague itself. In other words, the rats are fleeing the sinking ship.
Gaetz’s career is in epic freefall as allegations that he had sex with a minor and paid for sex with adult women, Trump and his allies aren’t rushing to defend him. These are people who continually yell “witch hunt” when such charges are levied, or claim this all part of some sort of deep-state conspiracy or other such nonsense. But not now. Not this time. There’s been nary a peep, except for one person from the Trump camp, who remarked “Not a lot of people are surprised.”
While Gaetz denies the allegations the Justice Department is continuing the investigation into whether he violated any sex trafficking laws, not a single Trump aide or a family member has posted anything about this on Twitter. Neither have the usual Trump surrogates, allies, or media personalities. This includes Tucker Carlson, Dan Bongino, Charlie Kirk, or American Conservative Union chair Matt Schlapp. And that’s even though Gaetz was a recent speaker at Schlapp’s CPAC conference.
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Trump is, however, keeping tabs on the situation but following the advice of his aides to keep quiet, according to a report from The Daily Beast. And sources are now saying the two haven’t spoken regularly of late, even after Gaetz offered to resign from office to join the former president’s impeachment defense team in February.
There are those within the Trump camp who say Gaetz is getting the kid-gloves treatment for a number of reasons. Chiefly among them is the fact that “Gaetz has always been regarded as a grenade whose pin has already been pulled,” note Politico’s Gabby Orr, Meridith McGraw, and Sam Stein. Associates say the lawmaker led a wild lifestyle that sometimes bordered on recklessness.
Apparently, Gaetz’s lifestyle was wild enough that some of his aides even sent embarrassing videos of their boss to other GOP operatives, say two sources familiar with the videos.
“Anyone that has ever spent ten minutes with the guy would realize he’s an unserious person,” said a former Trump campaign aide.
Gaetz is steadily defending himself against the allegations, including in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson that left Carlson visibly stunned. Gaetz has continually denied the underlying charges but then said he was “generous as a partner,” further cementing his “reckless” reputation.
“The reason you haven’t seen people in MAGA world defending Gaetz is less about him being unpopular, which he is in a lot of circles, and more about the fact that he hasn’t done a single thing to make people comfortable to defend him. His interview with Tucker was an absolute train wreck,” one Trump adviser said.
I highly recommend you watch Gaetz’s interview with Carlson. I’ve never seen Carlson quite so befuddled in my life and he even admits at the end this was “one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.” I’m including the clip below and Gaetz is naming names and claiming the FBI and the Justice Department are trying to smear him.
Since Gaetz is so obviously in deep trouble, you’d think Trump would defend someone who was arguably one of his biggest supporters but this isn’t really such a surprise after all. The only person Trump is interested in defending is himself.