In the days following the revelations about the federal investigation into Representative Matt Gaetzs’ alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, Donald Trump’s advisers have always offered him a simple message: Please keep mouth closed.
According to two people familiar with the matter, the twice-indicted former President of the United States has closely followed the scandal engulfing one of his favorite allies on Capitol Hill. The ex-president has, in his usual fashion, casually quizzed several confidants about what they think of the situation and if there is anything he should do about it.
But several people close to Trump have bluntly advised him to stay out of it, not to publicly defend Gaetz, they tell the former president, at least for now.
Both sources said that in every conversation they were aware of, Trump ultimately appeared to agree with the recommendations to shut up. One of the sources added that the former president lamented that this all sounds really bad for Gaetz, while also mentioning that the allegations could be a slander against Trump’s uber-loyalist.
Gaetz claimed he was the victim of a complicated extortion plot, involving Florida attorneys, $ 25 million, and a bizarre ploy to free former CIA agent Bob Levinson (which the US government assumes is death). And yet, while Gaetzs claims to have some credibility, the underlying story that Gaetz is under a Justice Department investigation for sex with a 17-year-old also seems credible.
In fact, to date, only two House Republicans have really jumped in Gaetz’s defense: Judicial-ranked Republican Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who has faced allegations that he ignored the sexual assault. series, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who rarely misses an opportunity to dismiss media reports and side with Trump-loving Republicans.
Gaetz did not respond to a message asking if he had heard from former President Trump in recent days. And a Trump spokesperson was also silent on Friday. But as of Friday evening, the former president and his office have not released an official statement on the matter.
Trump, who was started from his Twitter, was unable to tweet or retweet about the Gaetz scandal. And various big hitters and luminaries in the Trumpworld diaspora, as well as members of the Trump family, have tried to remain silent in the face of growing problems for Republican MPs.
I don’t hope anyone is guilty of anything, but it looks like he has a lot of explaining to do, said Barry Bennett, a longtime GOP agent and lobbyist who advised Trump on the campaign. 2016 presidential election, about Gaetz Friday. People underestimate Donald Trump’s political ear.
Bennett continued that Trump was loyal to those loyal to him. But, he said, no one wants to be associated with a guy who has been tagged with these kinds of claims, if they end up being true. For something like that, Bennett said, a ten-foot post isn’t long enough. The former president should stay as far away from that as possible.
In the past, Trump has barely hesitated when it comes to publicly defending himself or prominent allies when accused of misconduct or sexual assault. But this time around, the allegations seem to be true for many people close to Gaetz. And every day since the original story, the scandal has grown and become more explosive.
Only on Thursday it emerged that Gaetz was also under investigation for misuse of campaign funds, that he had shown nude photos of women to fellow House lawmakers and that the anchor of the case against him could be a sex ring. with an indicted Florida politician.
Not exactly the guy you want to jump in to defend.
As for Representative Gaetz himself, he has been one of Trump’s most loyal promoters and advocates on Capitol Hill. He rarely found a Trump scandal that he was not ready and willing to fight. But after appearing on Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night, Gaetz, much like Trump, appears to have calmed down, expecting what must come out next.
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