I’m built for the battle’: Gaetz makes it clear he has no plans to go anywhere despite allegations
For the last 10 days, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) has been at the center of an ever-developing investigation amid a litany of sex scandal allegations but now he has reemerged with a new outlook on the ongoing situation.
According to The Daily Beast, the Florida lawmaker appears to be shrugging off the most recent allegations which are actually described as the most "damning reports." On Friday, April 9, Gaetz appeared at the Save America Summit held at the Trump Doral in Miami, Fla.
Gaetz appeared to downplay the reports suggesting that he paid multiple women for sexual favors, including a 17-year-old underage minor. The lawmaker spoke to the "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) crowd as he began his speech with the usual focal points of Trump supporters: former President Donald Trump's regurgitated claims about the election being stolen as a result of "changes to the rules."
At one point during his speech, he alluded to the investigative probes he is facing as he said, "I'm built for the battle, and I'm not going anywhere."
But despite Gaetz's attempts to brush off the severity of the allegations, the publication notes that the investigation is intensifying. Just hours before the Florida lawmaker's appearance on Friday evening, the House Ethics Committee also announced it would be launching an investigation into Gaetz.
In a letter released on Friday, the committee explained the nature of its investigation.
"The Committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Matt Gaetz may have engaged in sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use, shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds for personal use, and/or accepted a bribe/improper gratuity, or impermissible gift in violation of House rules," the Committee wrote.
To make matters worse, Gaetz does not appear to have much support from Republican leaders and lawmakers. The publication reports that: "None of the 16 former senior Trump admin officials, ex-campaign brass, longtime GOP operatives, and sources close to the ex-president contacted by The Daily Beast were willing to defend Gaetz on the record."
Trump has also remained mum about Gaetz's investigation. When the former did release a statement about Gaetz's ongoing scandal, he focused mostly on himself.
"Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon," Trump said in a statement following reports about Gaetz seeking a blanket pardon for himself and a number of other Trump loyalists. "It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him."
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