Former President Donald Trump demanded CNN retract a story that claimed Rep. Matt Gaetz, R.-Fla., was snubbed by Trump after seeking a meeting with the GOP kingmaker.
Matt Gaetz said the story was false and asked for a retraction: “This is a total lie. I am on a pre-planned vacation with my fiancée. I was welcomed at Trump Doral days ago. No such meeting was denied nor sought. Gabby, “unnamed sources” lied. When can we expect a retraction?”
Trump’s spokesman Jason Miller said: “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.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz, who’s facing a federal investigation into sex trafficking allegations, was recently denied a meeting with Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate as the ex-President and his allies continue to distance themselves from the Florida congressman.
Two people familiar with the matter said Gaetz tried to schedule a visit with Trump after it was first revealed that he was being investigated, but the request was rejected by aides close to the former President, who have urged Trump not to stick his neck out to defend Gaetz. Harlan Hill, a spokesman for Gaetz, said the congressman did not request a meeting with Trump this week.
“Rep. Gaetz was welcomed to Trump Doral this week and has not sought to meet with President Trump himself,” Hill said in a statement to CNN, claiming that Gaetz has “been mostly relaxing with his fiancée this week during recess.”
The interference by Trump’s aides signals that Gaetz finds himself increasingly isolated as he weathers a potentially career-ending scandal just months after he offered to leave his plum job in Congress to join the 45th President’s impeachment defense team.
Trump has issued only one statement about Gaetz since the public first learned of the congressman’s role in a sex trafficking inquiry at the beginning of April.
In it, Trump denied ever receiving a blanket pardon request from the 38-year-old congressman and noted Gaetz’s denial of the allegations against him.
Gaetz said Friday, “The smears against me range from just distortions of my personal life to wild – and I mean wild – conspiracy theories.
“I won’t be intimidated by a lying media, and I won’t be extorted by a former DOJ official and the crooks he is working with. The truth will prevail.”
This @CNN story is complete fake news.— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) April 12, 2021
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 https://t.co/lhlChvilhF
This is a total lie.— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) April 12, 2021
I am on a pre-planned vacation with my fiancée. I was welcomed at Trump Doral days ago.
No such meeting was denied nor sought.
Gabby, “unnamed sources” lied.
When can we expect a retraction? https://t.co/6oaW7JlXUt
First scoop for @CNN: Trump aides recently intervened to stop a Gaetz-Trump meeting at Mar-a-Lago, signaling the embattled congressman is more isolated from Trump World than ever https://t.co/EIUan3Fnyg— Gabby Orr (@GabbyOrr_) April 12, 2021