Here's What Rep. Matt Gaetz Had to Say About the New York Times' Sex Trafficking Story

Not only has Congressman Matt Gaetz denied the allegations in an impassioned interview on Fox News, he also accuses the DOJ of "trying to smear me."

Congressman Matt Gaetz is vehemently denying allegations that he was involved in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl – even going so far as to say he and his family are “victims of an organized criminal extortion,” in what even Tucker Carlson called “one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.” Gaetz has not been charged with any crime.

Following the bombshell New York Times story, which claimed investigators are looking into whether Gaetz violated sex trafficking laws by paying for flights and hotels for the 17-year-old to travel with him, Gaetz delivered a whirlwind denial and retort on Fox News in an interview with Carlson.

“I do believe there are people at the Department of Justice trying to smear me,” Gaetz said during the interview. “Providing for flights and hotel rooms for people that you are dating that are of legal age is not a crime and I’m just troubled that the lack of any sort of legitimate investigation into me would then permute, would then convert into this extortion attempt.”

Gaetz recalled a night two years ago during which he and “a friend” went to dinner with Carlson and his wife. “She was actually threatened by the FBI, told that she wouldn’t cop to the fact that somehow I was involved in some pay-for-play scheme that she could face trouble," he said.

He claimed that he and his family are currently being extorted for $25 million “in exchange for making this case go away,” Gaetz told Axios.

Carlson denied any recollection of the night or friend in question.

Gaetz then claimed he knew nothing about the investigation except what he has “read in the New York Times,” which reported Tuesday that the Republican representative and close friend of former President Donald Trump is being investigated by the Department of Justice.

The news report, which cites three unnamed sources, claims that the investigation was launched toward the end of Trump’s presidency by Attorney General William P. Barr and is related to an investigation into a former Florida official and ally of his, Joel Greenberg, who faces 14 federal charges, including allegations of sex trafficking of a minor.

Greenberg’s trial has been pushed to a later date due to COVID-19 and he has pled not guilty to all charges, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The Department of Justice has not responded to Gaetz's accusations.

Rumors of Gaetz not seeking re-election and possibly leaving Congress to seek work in media have also been circulating ahead of the bombshell New York Times article.