And their silence is deafening as Gaetz struggles to save his political career amid a string of lurid allegations, including claims he was involved in a Harry Potter-themed sex game, paid for sex using Apple Pay and showed Congressional colleagues on the House floor photos of naked women.
Gaetz was one of Trump’s top allies on Capitol Hill, vigorously defending the former president during his first impeachment trial from his perch on the House Judiciary Committee.
Trump, who has not been shy about blasting out statements on an array of matters, has yet to send one out on Gaetz. And a spokesman for the former president didn’t respond to DailyMail.com’s inquiries.
Donald Trump and his allies have stayed quiet on Matt Gaetz as the Florida Republican struggles to save his political career among an array of sexual allegations
Matt Gaetz was a top Trump ally on Capitol Hill and a frequent guest at Mar-a-Lago as he’s seen above at the president’s Palm Beach Club in March 2020 during a dinner for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
Gaetz, meanwhile, is using the president’s own playbook in crafting his defense the allegations including claims the Justice Department is investigating whether he trafficked a 17-year-old girl.
The Florida Republican has gone on the offense, rapidly responding to the hits and appearing on conservative news networks to claim he’s the victim of a conspiracy.
He claims to be the victim of an extortion plot involving former Justice Department official David McGee, who was trying to exhort $25 million from his family to help rescue American hostage Robert Levinson from Iran. McGree denied Gaetz’s charge.
But, with Trump and his cadre having abandoned Gaetz for the time being, the congressman has been left to his own devices.
‘It only works for Donald Trump,’ a former Trump administration official told The Washington Post about Gaetz’s response tactics.
The former president has been monitoring the situation from his Mar-a-Lago residence, the Daily Beast reported, but, thus far, is heeding aides’ advice to stay quiet and stay out of it.
Those in Trump’s orbit see Gaetz as ‘a grenade whose pin had already been pulled,’ Politico reported in a piece that noted the 38-year-old congressman had ‘a reputation for a wild personal lifestyle that, associates say, occasionally bordered on reckless.’
‘Not a lot of people are surprised,’ one Trump ally told the news outlet.
‘Anyone that has ever spent 10 minutes with the guy would realize he’s an unserious person,’ said one former Trump campaign aide.
Also not defending Gaetz is Republican leadership on Capitol Hill. House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said Gaetz would be removed from his committee assignments if the allegations turned out to be true.
Gaetz has ruffled feathers inside the GOP caucus with his willingness to take shots at fellow Republicans. Rep. Liz Cheney, a member of the party leadership, has been one of his top targets. Gaetz traveled to her home state of Wyoming to criticize her after she was one of 10 House Republicans to vote for Trump’s second impeachment.
Thus far, only two House Republicans have really come to Gaetz’s defense: Republican Jim Jordan of Ohio, who faced his own allegations he ignored sexual assault allegations from wrestlers regarding their coach at Ohio State University, and Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who lost her committee assignments after Democrats voted her from them in the wake of conspiracy theories she spread on social media.
Matt Gaetz snaps a selfie with President Donald Trump on the House floor
Matt Gaetz proposed to his fiance Ginger Lucky at Donald Trump’s Palm Beach club this past December
Gaetz, meanwhile, has remained defiant and says he will not resign his congressional seat.
‘No, I am absolutely not resigning,’ he wrote in one of his first public comments about the allegations in a column for the Washington Examiner published on Monday.
‘First, I have never, ever paid for sex,’ he wrote. ‘And second, I, as an adult man, have not slept with a 17-year-old.’
Engaged since New Year’s Eve, he wrote: ‘My lifestyle of yesteryear may be different from how I live now, but it was not and is not illegal.’
He added: ‘Washington scandal cycles are predictable, and sex is especially potent in politics. Let me first remind everyone that I am a representative in Congress, not a monk, and certainly not a criminal.
The three-term congressman made a name for himself cozying up to Trump. Gaetz was a frequent guest at Mar-a-Lago, which sat about an hour from his Florida congressional district.
Gaetz even proposed to his fiance Ginger Lucky at Trump’s Palm Beach club this past December.