April 11, 2021

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) tried multiple times on Tuesday night to pull Tucker Carlson into the web of allegations made against him involving a possible relationship with an underage girl, but was rebuffed each time.

Gaetz appeared on Carlson’s Fox News show shortly after The New York Times reported the Department of Justice launched an investigation into whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and paid for her to travel with him out of state. Gaetz told Carlson this was “verifiably false” and claimed it was part of an elaborate extortion scheme targeting his wealthy family.

Gaetz alleged that the person blackmailing him claimed to have “specific connections inside the Biden White House. I don’t know if that’s true. They were promising that Joe Biden would pardon me. Obviously I don’t need a pardon.” Then, Gaetz quickly pivoted, and mentioned something that likely got many viewers at home firing up Google. “I’m not the only person on screen right now who has been falsely accused of a terrible sex act. You were accused of something that you did not do, and so you know what this feels like.”

Carlson replied that Gaetz was referring to “a mentally-ill viewer who accused me of a sex crime 20 years ago, it was not true and I’d never met the person.” He tried to get the spotlight back on Gaetz, but the congressman wasn’t done with Carlson just yet.

“I can say that you and I went to dinner about two years ago, your wife was there and I brought a friend of mine, you’ll remember her, and she was actually threatened by the FBI and told if she wouldn’t cop to the fact that somehow I was involved in some pay-for -play scheme that she could face trouble,” Gaetz said. “So I do believe there are people at the Department of Justice who are trying to smear me.” Carlson pushed back at this attempt to make him a witness, saying, “I don’t remember the woman you’re speaking of or the context at all, honestly.”

When it was over, Carlson called the interview one of the “weirdest” ones he’s “ever conducted,” and said while he doesn’t “quite understand” the case, “we’ll bring you more when we find out.” Catherine Garcia


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