Rep. Matt Gaetz, the Florida Republican who is currently the subject of a Justice Department investigation into whether he had sex with a 17-year-old girl and transported her across the borders of the state, in violation of sex trafficking laws, is considering running for president. in 2024.
Gaetz made the disclosure Wednesday in a text message to the New York Post.
“I support Donald Trump for the presidency. I directly encouraged him to run and he gives me every indication that he will, ”Gaetz told the newspaper. “If Trump doesn’t run I’m sure I could defeat all that is left of Joe Biden by 2024.”
One of Trump’s loudest supporters in Congress, Gaetz has embarked on an “America First” speaking tour alongside Representative Majorie Taylor Greene who has all the hallmarks of a fledgling presidential campaign, albeit she is also helping to lay the groundwork for Trump’s possible race. 2024.
In Mesa, Arizona, last week Gaetz, 39, looked a lot like a candidate ready to take his place on Trump’s mantle, should the 74-year-old former president decide to spend his retirement golfing.
“Thousands of miles away in the Washington swamp, they somehow hope that it was all over, that our little populist revolt would flee and be no longer part of our national identity,” Gaetz told his audience. . “Oh, we’re just getting started.”
While Gaetz has often presented his worldview as indistinguishable from that of Trump, his native speech also leaves room for him to resemble a more traditional Republican.
“It has been too many years since an inspiring President Ronald Reagan told us it was ‘the morning again in America’. Too often now, it seems like it’s twilight for Joe Biden. If it was morning in America under Reagan, it sort of feels like a nap in America when Joe Biden is the president. I think it’s time to wake up our compatriots, ”Gaetz said while imploring a“ new generation of patriots ”to get involved in politics.
Darkening Gaetz’s presidential aspirations, federal prosecutors recently secured a cooperation deal with his friend Joel Greenberg, who has previously pleaded guilty to some of the same crimes Gaetz is under investigation for. To date, Gaetz has not been charged or charged and has denied all allegations against him, including that he regularly paid for sex.
“I am falsely accused of exchanging money for ugly favors,” Gaetz said at a meeting of Republicans in Ohio in May. “Yet Congress has reinstated a process that legalizes the corrupt act of exchanging money for favors, through postings, and everyone knows that is bribery.”
It remains to be seen whether Attorney General Merrick Garland decides to indict Gaetz. But with the conviction among Republicans that all inquiries targeting pro-Trump politicians amount to a “witch hunt,” a term Gaetz has taken over in connection with the allegations made against him, the formal accusations of sex trafficking may not even fall. prevent him from running for the highest office in the country. Earth.
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