Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) said that he regrets his friendship with Joel Greenberg, a former Florida tax collector who has pled guilty to multiple charges including paying a minor for sex.
During an interview with WEAR on Tuesday, Gaetz responded to reports that he had been friends with Greenberg and that he had traveled with a lobbyist to the Bahamas. According to the reports, Gaetz is being investigated for the possible sex trafficking of a 17-year-old girl.
"I've never been to the Bahamas with a lobbyist," Gaetz insisted. "That's not accurate. I was on a trip as many Floridians do to go to the Bahamas. Nothing about that's criminal. I didn't do anything criminal while I was there."
"As for the optics going to a tax collectors office, I've never used the tax collectors office in Seminole County or anywhere else for anything improper," he continued. "I believe there may have been a time where Greenberg swung by the office but it certainly didn't have anything to do with any bad acts on my part."
Gaetz went on to reveal that he was no longer friends with Greenberg, who is cooperating with federal officials in the sex trafficking investigation.
"When I became aware of some of Greenberg's misdeeds, I deeply regretted my friendship with him," he explained. "I do believe that it's fair for the people of northwest Florida to judge me based on the associations that I've had. And I deeply regret my association with Joel Greenberg politically, socially and otherwise."
Gaetz added: "But when folks evaluate that, I hope they evaluate it alongside the good work that I've done to advance our military mission, to fight for our values and to be a representative in Congress who never fears the battle and is always in the arena for these great folks."
Watch the video below from WEAR.
Matt Gaetz says he "deeply regretted" his friendship with former wingman Joel Greenberg, who is reportedly cooperating with a sex-trafficking investigation.
"I didn't do anything criminal," Gaetz insists. pic.twitter.com/iYhh45fbrY
— David Edwards (@DavidEdwards) October 6, 2021