Former President Donald Trump reportedly had to be talked out of defending Rep. Matt Gaetz upon learning news of an investigation regarding alleged sex trafficking and having sex with a 17-year-old girl by the Florida Republican Congressman.
The New York Times reported Tuesday night that Rep. Gaetz floated the idea of a blanket pardon to White House officials in the waning days of former Trump’s one term in office. Appearing on CNN’s New Day, Maggie Haberman explained the reporting by her Times colleagues Michael Schmidt and Katie Benner who broke the original story of the investigation, and added that Trump’s first impulse was to defend Gaetz but that his advisors explained that it was a bad idea and ultimately talked him out of it.
Over the past four years, there may have been no member of Congress more loyal or eager to defend Trump from his critics. And the former president’s first inclination was to repay that loyalty by defending him as well. According to Haberman, several advisers told Trump that defending Gaetz was a “bad idea” and that “the nature of what Gaetz is being investigated for is so serious this is not something that former president trump should be out on a limb.
“Remember, he’s not on Twitter anymore,” she continued, “so he can’t go out and do what he wants. So far, they’ve been successful at keeping him away.” She then explained the mutual admiration between the two, noting that “Trump did like Gaetz. He was a very full-throated supporter. He was defending him during impeachment. He tried to defend him during the second impeachment.”
According to Haberman, Trump’s affection was not widely shared in the White House, who added, “Trump’s staff has always had issues with him.”
Watch above via CNN.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org