Two people familiar with the matter said Gaetz attempted to schedule a visit with Trump after it was first revealed he was under investigation, but the request was turned down by close aides of the former president, who urged Trump not to hold back. defend Gaetz. Harlan Hill, a spokesperson for Gaetz, said the congressman did not request a meeting with Trump this week.
“Representative Gaetz was greeted at Trump Doral this week and did not seek to meet with President Trump himself,” Hill said in a statement to CNN, saying Gaetz had “mostly relaxed with his fiancee this week. week during recess “.
The interference from Trump’s aides indicates Gaetz finds himself increasingly isolated as he goes through a potentially career-ending scandal just months after he offered to step down from his plum job in Congress to join the team. defense of the impeachment of the 45th president. Trump has issued only one statement about Gaetz since the public first learned of the congressman’s role in a sex trafficking investigation in early April. In it, Trump denied ever having received a blanket pardon request from the 38-year-old MP and noted Gaetz’s denial of the allegations against him.
Following repeated requests for comment, Trump spokesman Jason Miller wrote in a tweet Sunday evening that Gaetz had not requested a meeting “and therefore it could never have been refused.”
Federal Investigators Investigate Allegations Gaetz Had Sex With A 17-Year-Old Underage At The Time And Other Women Who Had Been Provided With Drugs And Money In Violation Of Trafficking Laws sex and prostitution. Federal investigators are also looking to determine whether Gaetz benefited from travel and women in exchange for political favors as part of a larger investigation, people familiar with the investigation told CNN.
Gaetz continued to deny all of the allegations against him and was not charged with any crime.
The former president has also remained silent since the publication of the two-sentence missive last week. Speaking to deep-pocketed GOP donors at his Palm Beach club on Saturday, Trump left out Gaetz as he verified the names of several of his top Republican backers – South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and the former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in the Florida government. Ron DeSantis and Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, according to two people familiar with his comments.
Trump’s failure to mention Gaetz was seen as obvious to some in the crowd, given the congressman’s inordinate loyalty to the former president and the litany of other Republicans Trump called out in his speech. .
Meanwhile, Gaetz’s appearance on Friday at a pro-Trump women’s conference raised eyebrows inside the former president’s orbit. Aides saw his last-minute speech at the Women for America First event, held at the nearby Trump National Doral resort, as a blatant attempt to reach out to Trump and his supporters.
A person directly involved in Trump’s post-presidential operation said the former president’s aides “felt Gaetz had gone there to try and meet Trump or people around him.”
Gaetz, who was announced as a “special guest” just days before the summit began, used his time on stage to expose “savage conspiracy theories” about his personal life and to reaffirm his intention to stay on Capitol Hill.
“I was made for battle and I’m not going anywhere,” he told the crowd.
Gaetz has already faced calls from a fellow Republican, Republican Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, to step down from his seat in Congress and has received virtually no support from Trump’s orbit. The Florida Fire Mark, known to have few friends in Washington, is also at risk of losing its committee assignments based on investigators’ findings, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News on Monday. last week.
This story was updated with comment from a Trump spokesperson.
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