Trumpworld refuses to defend Matt Gaetz and called his response to sex-trafficking allegations an 'absolutely embarrassing trainwreck'

  • As Rep. Matt Gaetz faces a brewing sex-trafficking scandal, he hasn’t heard a peep from Trumpworld.
  • “He hasn’t done a single thing to make people comfortable to defend him,” a Trump confidant told Politico.
  • The person added that some of Gaetz’s responses to allegations against him were “an absolutely embarrassing trainwreck.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida gained a reputation as one of then-President Donald Trump’s most loyal attack dogs on Capitol Hill, going to bat for Trump in oversight hearings, berating members of the so-called “deep state,” and endorsing Trump’s most outlandish conspiracy theories.

Now, as Gaetz faces a brewing scandal of his own over allegations that he had sex with a minor and broke federal sex trafficking laws, there hasn’t been a peep from Trumpworld.

As Politico reported on Tuesday, many in Trump’s orbit already view Gaetz as something of a reckless wildcard whose personal life — which Gaetz himself said previously “may be different” from how he lives now, “but it was not and is not illegal” — was an open secret.

Others pointed to Gaetz’s statements in the wake of revelations last week that the Justice Department is investigating if Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him across state lines, breaking sex trafficking laws while doing so. The inquiry is also said to be examining Gaetz’s interactions with several women who were recruited online for sex through the website Seeking Arrangement and received cash payments.

Following media reports about the investigation, Gaetz took to the the conservative airwaves and fervently denied the allegations in an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. During the discussion, Gaetz alleged that the investigation into him is part of a multimillion dollar extortion scheme and at one point appeared to indicate that Carlson was a character witness to some of the events under investigation.

Carlson said he had no idea what Gaetz was talking about and later called the interview “one of the weirdest” he had ever conducted.

“The reason you haven’t seen people in MAGA world defending Gaetz is less about him being unpopular, which he is in a lot of circles, and more about the fact that he hasn’t done a single thing to make people comfortable to defend him,” a Trump confidant told Politico, adding that Gaetz’s interview with Carlson was “an absolutely embarrassing trainwreck.”

Another former Trump campaign aide told the outlet that “anyone that has ever spent 10 minutes with the guy would realize he’s an unserious person.”

Politico’s reporting aligns with Insider’s reporting last month detailing how GOP insiders were secretly unloading on Gaetz amid the political firestorm.

The account, which was based on interviews with 18 current and former Republican and White House sources, highlighted that while people in Trump’s orbit weren’t necessarily happy to see Gaetz in trouble, they “feel a little vindicated.”

“He’s the meanest person in politics,” said one former White House staffer.

Gaetz continues denying the allegations against him and wrote in a Washington Examiner op-ed Monday that “the swamp is out to drown me with false charges” related to the Justice Department’s investigation.

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