Trump's staff is imploring him to steer clear of Matt Gaetz: reporter

Trump's staff is imploring him to steer clear of Matt Gaetz: reporter

In an article published by the New York Times on April 6, New York Times journalists Maggie Haberman, Michael S. Schmidt and Nicholas Fandos reported that during former President Donald Trump's final weeks in office, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida "privately asked the White House for blanket preemptive pardons for himself and unidentified congressional allies for any crimes they may have committed." Haberman discussed the article when she appeared on CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday morning, April 7 — noting that according to her sources, Trump's staff is urging him to avoid the embattled congressman.

Allegations that the 38-year-old Gaetz, a far-right Republican and bombastic Trump supporter, was sexually involved with a 17-year-old girl are presently being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice. Gaetz has vehemently denied the allegations and hasn't been charged with anything, but according to Haberman, Trump's staff want him to avoid the Florida congressman in light of the severity of the allegations.

Haberman told "New Day" hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman, "So far, they have been successful in keeping him away from him…. Trump personally likes him; Trump's staff has always had issues with him."

Trump granted plenty of presidential pardons and commutations during the lame duck period of late 2020 and early 2021, but the type of "blanket pardons" that Gaetz was requesting — according to Haberman — went way beyond that. And Haberman told Camerota and Berman that Gaetz's request "was never seriously considered" by Trump.

Haberman's appearance on "New Day" comes during the 54-year-old Camerota's final week co-hosting the CNN morning program, which runs against Fox News' "Fox and Friends" and MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Camerota, who joined CNN in 2014 after leaving Fox News, will be moving to CNN's weekday afternoon news coverage — and CNN's Brianna Keilar will be replacing her on "New Day."

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