Tucker Carlson wasted no time passing judgment after his interview with Rep. Matt Gaetz on Tuesday, calling it “one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted” and concluding “I don’t think that clarified much.”
The Gaetz interview took place just hours after it was revealed he is being investigated by the Department of Justice for possible sexual misconduct. The New York Times reported that the Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz, 38, had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel over state lines, thus possibly violating federal sex trafficking laws. Gaetz denied the claim and instead said he is the victim of an extortion plot.
During the interview with Carlson, Gaetz reiterated his claim that his father was contacted by a former Department of Justice official who tried to extort $25 million from him in return for making sex trafficking allegations go away.
Then Gaetz appeared to stun Carlson when he said, “I’m not the only person on screen right now who’s been falsely accused of a terrible sex act. You were accused of something you did not do so you know what this feels like.”
Carlson waited for Gaetz to finish his point before he responded, “You just referred to a mentally ill viewer who accused me of a sex crime 20 years ago. And, of course, it was not true. I never met the person. But I do agree with you — being accused falsely is one of the worst things that can happen.”
Carlson has talked about that accusation before. On his show in 2017, Carlson said that “a number of years ago … I was accused of felony rape by a woman I had literally never even seen.”
After the interview was over, Tucker Carlson came back and said, “You just saw our Matt Gaetz interview. That was one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted. That story just appeared in the news a couple of hours ago, and on the certainty that there’s always more than you read in the newspaper, we immediately called Matt Gaetz and asked him to come on and tell us more. Which, as you saw, he did. I don’t think that clarified much, but it certainly showed this is a deeply interesting story and we’ll be following it.”
Earlier this week, Axios reported that Gaetz is considering leaving Congress to pursue a gig at Newsmax. In December 2017, Gaetz was the only person in Congress to vote against a bill to combat human trafficking.