Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said this week that he is declining to attend a rally to support the Jan. 6 rioters because he has plans with his wife.
During an appearance on the Joe Pags Show, Gaetz slammed CNN for reporting that he had not yet made a decision.
"To my knowledge, I wasn't even invited to this rally," the congressman insisted. "But the new trick from the mainstream media is to create negativity around a person or an event or a gathering. And then if you're not the first to deny and denounce that activity then somehow you're culpable or you are involved and you need to be shunned."
"Look, I have plans with my wife on Sept. 18th," he continued. "I won't be attending that particular function but I do think it's dangerous for Republicans to fall for the trap of allowing the mainstream media to basically cast any event, any gathering, any circumstance, any people as inherently evil and you have an obligation to distance yourself from it."
Gaetz accused Democrats in Congress of hypocrisy because he claimed that they supported people who "actually rioted" over the death of George Floyd.
"Then they go and blame Republicans if we're not the first to denounce those who simply appear to be rallying because they want to ask questions about the conditions of detainees," he concluded.
Gaetz recently joined Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) for an unannounced attempt to visit alleged rioters who were being held at a Washington, D.C. jail. Greene has referred to the defendants as "political prisoners."
The lawmakers eventually left after being refused entry to the facility.