A CNN report that said embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz was denied a meeting with former President Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort is fake news, according to the congressman’s office and Trump team.
The report, published on Sunday, cited anonymous sources who claimed a meeting was sought by Gaetz after it was revealed he was facing a federal investigation into sex trafficking allegations and that the request was rejected by aides close to Trump.
“Rep. Gaetz was welcomed to Trump Doral this week and has not sought to meet with President Trump himself,” Gaetz spokesman Harlan Hill said in a statement to the outlet that was added after initial publication. Hill also said Gaetz has “been mostly relaxing with his fiancee this week during recess.”
Gaetz, who says he won’t resign over “false” sex allegations, delivered a speech at Trump’s Doral property in Miami on Friday during which he appeared with his fiancee, Ginger Luckey, and vowed that “the truth will prevail.”
An aide to Trump also denied the CNN report.
“This @CNN story is complete fake news. No such scheduling or meeting request was ever made, and therefore, it could never have been declined. Take note that this story has zero on-the-record sources. It’s literally made-up. We are demanding a full retraction. #FakeNews,” Jason Miller, an adviser and spokesman for the 45th president, said in a tweet.
Gaetz retweeted Miller from his personal account and, in a separate missive, said that the story was a “total lie,” adding: “When can we expect a retraction?”
The Washington Examiner emailed a CNN representative for comment.
Although the CNN report said aides “have urged Trump not to stick his neck out to defend Gaetz,” the former president vouched for the Republican congressman from Florida by denying a New York Times report last week that said Gaetz asked for a pardon.
“Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon. It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him,” Trump said in a statement via tweemail Wednesday.
The House Ethics Committee announced on Friday that it opened an investigation into the allegations facing Gaetz, including whether he “shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor.” That is in reference to another CNN report that said the 38-year-old congressman showed sexually explicit photos to colleagues on the House floor and bragged about his sexual endeavors.
The DOJ investigation, which among other possible crimes, is looking into whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old, began in the final months of the Trump administration under then-Attorney General William Barr,
Author : Daniel Chaitin
Source : Washington Examiner : Trump and Gaetz camps deny CNN report on spurned Mar-a-Lago meeting