Embattled Congressman Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was recently denied a meeting with Donald Trump as his legal woes worsen.
According to CNN, Gaetz tried to schedule a visit with Trump after it was first revealed that he was being investigated, but the request was rejected by aides close to the former President, who have urged Trump not to stick his neck out to defend Gaetz.
With aides distancing Trump from Gaetz, the Congressman that was once one of Trump’s most loyal supporters on Capitol Hill, finds himself more isolated, as he struggles to keep his political career alive. He has so far received almost no public support from his congressional Republican colleagues, and so far, one, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger has publicly called for him to resign.
Trump has otherwise kept uncharacteristically silent on the issue except for a two sentence statement last week denying that Gaetz asked him for a preemptive pardon.Trump did not even mention him during his speech at the RNC donor retreat on Saturday where he name-checked some of his top defenders from Kristi Noem and Ron DeSantis to Gaetz’s sidekick, Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).
A spokesperson for Gaetz told CNN, “Rep. Gaetz was welcomed to Trump Doral this week and has not sought to meet with President Trump himself.” The spokesperson claimed that Gaetz has “been mostly relaxing with his fiancée this week during recess.”
Trump’s spokesman Jason Miller wrote in a tweet on Sunday evening that Gaetz did not request a meeting “and therefore, it could never have been denied.”
Rep. Gaetz is under investigation by the Department of Justice into allegations that he had sex with a minor and violated sex trafficking and prostitution laws. He has denied the allegations and has not been charged with a crime. Investigators also want to know if Gaetz was accepting paid escorts in exchange for political access or legislative favors.
He spoke publicly for the first time on Friday about the allegations at a pro-Trump women’s event in Florida.
According too CNN his presence at that event is “raising eyebrows” among some members of Trump’s orbit. They see it “as a blatant attempt to reach Trump and his supporters.” Aides to Trump “were under the impression that Gaetz went down there to try and run into Trump or people around him.”