Embattled Florida Republican representative Matt Gaetz is lashing out at CNN as the network reports two women have come forward to say they attended boozy parties with him and a “who’s who” of local Republican leaders.
CNN reported Wednesday that according to the two women, drugs and alcohol were abundant and party attendees were asked not to document any part of the events, at which, at least sometimes, CNN says, “money would change hands.” The network reviewed receipts from Gaetz and associate Joel Greenberg from 2018 and 2019.
One woman told CNN she believed Gaetz himself used recreational drugs.
Beginning Tuesday, Gaetz lashed out at CNN, calling the network “propaganda” and citing a new undercover tape from right-wing outfit Project Veritas that shows a CNN employee seemingly discussing his impression of his employer’s agenda-setting power.
In the video, the CNN employee says, “If the agenda say, is to like get, like Matt Gaetz right now — he’s like this Republican — he’s a problem for the Democratic party because he’s so conservative and he can cause a lot of hiccups in passing of laws and whatnot…”
The New York Times reported last month that the Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz, 38, violated federal sex trafficking laws by having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paying for her to travel over state lines. According to the Times, the investigation was opened under Attorney General William Barr in the final months of Donald Trump’s presidency. It’s part of a larger investigation into Greenberg, a former Florida county tax collector indicted last summer on multiple federal charges, including for the sex trafficking of a minor. Greenberg has pleaded not guilty.
Gaetz has denied wrongdoing and vowed not to resign.