The conservative climbing star finds himself gaining focus that he did not seek.
In 2017, both chambers of Congress passed an anti-human-trafficking invoice that provided additional money to protect vulnerable girls. The vote was almost unanimous, without one single holdout: Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz.
Gaetz's vote in the time puzzled his colleagues in Congress, and days afterwards, he chose to Facebook to shield it on a live stream by his parents' living area. "I guarantee you it is not because I do not believe human trafficking is a issue," he announced. "It was. But far too frequently the very best of intentions may result in mission creep in the national level."
The conservative growing star, who spent the previous 3 years drawing on the spotlight by cutting against the grain, today finds himself gaining focus he did not seek. And the topic is human trafficking. Gaetz sits in the middle of a Justice Department investigation into possible violations of gender trafficking legislation that entails an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old woman, multiple sources confirmed to ABC News.
Gaetz turned promptly to the airwaves Tuesday to refute the allegations of a connection with a small, doing this in a Fox News interview with Tucker Carlson, who later known as the section"among the strangest interviews I have ever ran."
"I've not had a connection with a 17-year-old. That's completely untrue," Gaetz informed Carlson. "That's untrue and documents will keep out that to be untrue."
Reports of the research into Gaetz, initially released by the New York Times, have attracted fresh focus and scrutiny into the contentious young congressman. His dad Don served as president of the Florida Senate and contains a reported net worth of over $25 million, based on Florida financial disclosure reports.
A frequent guest in Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago hotel, Gaetz, 38, emerged as a ferocious defender of the previous president that vocally backed Trump by two impeachment trials and replicated Trump's baseless claims of a stolen election in the middle of the assault to the Capitol, even taking into the House floor and suggesting that antifa protesters were supporting the riot.
"They had been masquerading as Trump fans," Gaetz said.
"Do your spouse & father-in-law understand about your girlfriends? Perhaps tonight would be a fantastic time for this chat. I wonder if she will stay loyal once you're in jail. She is going to find out a whole lot," Gaetz tweeted, which prompted the Florida Bar to start an investigation to the congressman's remarks.
Trump, consequently, has lavished praise Gaetz in his boisterous rallies, calling him a"fantastic gift, youthful, handsome" and stating that he is"going places" Trump also noted in a 2018 rally at Fort Myers, Florida,"You speak about defending, he is superb."
Thus far, keywords in Trump's orbit, such as Donald Trump Jr. and the president , have to weigh in on the allegations against Gaetz.
"That is simply absurd. The one person who appears to have a criticism is @RepKatieHill's soon-to-be ex," Gaetz tweeted, including,"Who among us could look great if each ex leaked each photo/text?"
But, other interactions Gaetz has had with congresswomen have sparked controversy, such as commenting on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's look. Gaetz has predicted Ocasio-Cortez"attractive" multiple occasions, and in a meeting with TMZ, he chased the relationship program Tinder by stating he'd"swipe directly" on the notion of working together with her to cannabis legislation. At a Daily Caller section from 2019 that based around Gaetz's remarks regarding Ocasio-Cortez, the Florida congressman again remarked on her looks, speaking to his colleague as an"attractive woman from Queens."
Afterwards in 2020, when Gaetz disclosed for the very first time he had increased a young guy from Cuba because his son, the now-former Rep. Hill returned the favour and defended him openly amid a surge of queries.
"A lot of you understand @mattgaetz & I've an improbable friendship," Hill tweeted. "I can not stand a great deal of his beliefs but he has been there for me when others have not. He speaks about Nestor over anything else, has done a lot for his son & is a really proud father."
Gaetz has repeatedly called 19-year-old Nestor Galban, the brother of one of Gaetz's ex-girlfriends, because his son -- but has implied he never officially adopted him. "Our relationship for a household is characterized by our passion for one another, not by some paperwork," he told People magazine.
Later on a episode of his podcast, Gaetz said he feels"just like one step-parent occasionally," adding,"There is a particular type of love which you could give to another human being, you know, which isn't your own flesh and blood, that is not your kid."
"As you guys can see, I have myhelper Nestor finished here. I am in my parents' home outside in Walton County," Gaetz said.