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Matt Gaetz Responds to Sex Trafficking Reports in Tucker Carlson Interview: 'One of the Weirdest Interviews I Have Ever Conducted'

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Rep. Matt Gaetz on Tuesday defended himself against sex trafficking allegations in what Fox News host Tucker Carlson called “one of the weirdest interviews I have ever conducted.”

Carlson said Fox News called the Florida Republican as soon as the story broke, as “there’s always more than you read in the newspaper.”

“I don’t think that clarified much, but it certainly showed this is a deeply interesting story and we will be following it,” Carlson said in response to the interview. “Don’t quite understand it.”

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The Florida Republican has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl.

“The person doesn’t exist. I have not had a relationship with a 17-year-old. That is totally false,” Gaetz told Carlson.

“The allegation, as I’ve read in The New York Times, is that I’ve traveled with some 17-year-old in some relationship. That is false and records will bear that out to be false.”

The New York Times was the first to report Gaetz was being investigated by the Justice Department over the alleged relationship as well as a possible violation of federal sex trafficking laws.

“A variety of federal statutes make it illegal to induce someone under 18 to travel over state lines to engage in sex in exchange for money or something of value,” The Times reported.

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Gaetz told Axios that in his “single days” he “provided for women” he dated.

“You know, I’ve paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I’ve been, you know, generous as a partner,” he said. “I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not.”

Gaetz outlined an extortion scheme he believes is afoot during his interview with Carlson.

“On March 16, my father got a text message demanding a meeting wherein a person demanded $25 million in exchange for making horrible sex trafficking allegations against me go away,” he said.

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Gaetz said his family went to the FBI and his father wore a wire during the meeting with former DOJ official David McGee.

“Tonight I am demanding that the Department of Justice and the FBI release the audio recordings that were made under their supervision and at their direction which will prove my innocence and that will show that these allegations aren’t true, they’re merely intended to bleed my family out of money,” Gaetz said.

He added that the former DOJ official was going to give specific instructions Wednesday on how to wire a $4.5 million down payment on the bribe.

Gaetz also referred to a dinner with Carlson and his wife in which he brought a woman who was later threatened by the FBI, but Carlson said he didn’t remember that meeting.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith