Like a lot of us, Jimmy Kimmel has been paying close attention to the ongoing scandal involving U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida). And in his “Jimmy Kimmel Live” monologue on Wednesday, Kimmel found it particularly amusing that not even Donald Trump is coming through with any real support of one of the biggest Trump loyalists in Congress.
To start the gag, Kimmel brought up the New York Times report Tuesday that in the last few weeks of Trump’s presidency, Gaetz tried to convince Trump to give him and several of his associates “blanket pre-emptive pardons” to cover “any crimes they may have committed.” At the time, Gaetz was fully aware that he was under investigation by the Department of Justice for possible sex trafficking, an investigation that is still ongoing.
“Which, that’s not suspicious,” Kimmel joked. “You know you haven’t done anything wrong when you check in with the president to ask for a pardon, in case you happen to get accused of a sex crime somewhere down the line. That’s not abnormal.”
Of course, as Kimmel noted, according to the Times Trump didn’t end up giving Gaetz a pardon after his legal advisers convinced him it would “set a bad precedent.”
“At the time they were only interested in setting terrible precedents,” Kimmel joked, possibly referring to the myriad of misdeeds Trump committed during the end of his presidency, which included his involvement in the violent seditious riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“‘Bad President’ should be the title of Trump’s autobiography. That really is — that’s got a ring to it,” Kimmel continued.
In a statement to the Times, Gaetz denied the report, saying through his spokesperson: “Entry-level political operatives have conflated a pardon call from Representative Gaetz — where he called for President Trump to pardon ‘everyone from himself, to his administration, to Joe Exotic’ — with these false and increasingly bizarre, partisan allegations against him.”
“Right. That makes sense,” Kimmel said in response to that statement.
That’s when Kimmel got to Trump’s meager defense of Gaetz.
“Trump weighed in on the story — with a two-sentence statement,” Kimmel continued, reading the statement verbatim: “Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon. It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him.”
“Yes, it must,” Kimmel added. “I guess that was the best Trump could do for Gaetz now that he doesn’t have Twitter anymore. His advisers — according to Maggie Haberman of the Times — reportedly talked him out of a full-throated defense of Gaetz. Which is sad because Matt Gaetz really was the son Donald Trump never had even though he had a couple.”
Watch the whole monologue above. The Gaetz is brought up about three minutes in.