A Politico article points out that Trump and his besties usually jump to defend their allies from what they characterize as deep-state witch hunts. But they’ve been mum on Gaetz.
In the days since news broke that the Department of Justice was looking into whether Gaetz had violated sex trafficking laws — an allegation he denies — no Trump aide or family member has tweeted about the Florida congressman. Nor have almost any of the most prominent Trump surrogates or Trump-allied conservatives and media personalities, including Sean Hannity, Dan Bongino, Charlie Kirk or American Conservative Union Chair Matt Schlapp, at whose annual CPAC conference Gaetz had recently appeared.
Before his bizarre interview with Tucker Carlson, hours after news broke of the federal investigation, Gaetz had appeared on Fox nearly 180 times since he was sworn into office in 2017, according to Forbes. Since that interview, nothing.
In 2019, Trump said Gaetz is “handsome, going places…fantastic.”
Now, not so much. More from Politico:
Operatives inside Trump World say the silence is owed to a variety of factors. Among them is the fact that Gaetz has always been regarded as a grenade whose pin had already been pulled. The congressman had a reputation for a wild personal lifestyle that, associates say, occasionally bordered on reckless. Some of Gaetz’s own aides would regularly send embarrassing videos of their boss to other GOP operatives, according to two people familiar with the videos.
“One Trump confidant” told Politico the real reason MAGA world is not defending Gaetz is “more about the fact that he hasn't done a single thing to make people comfortable to defend him. His interview with Tucker was an absolutely embarrassing train wreck."
Gaetz wrote a defiant column this week, which I refused to link to. But Politico has a quote from it that pretty much makes the point of that Trump confidant: “My lifestyle of yesteryear may be different from how I live now, but it was not and is not illegal.” So Gaetz tacitly acknowledges he’s been a sleazebag, right before suggesting he never broke the law. But as far as I know, actions are or are not illegal, not lifestyles. Gaetz, a lawyer, doesn't actually say he did nothing illegal.
A pox on all their houses.