OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Donald Trump has once again crushed a mainstream media narrative and this time he did it with a single sentence.
The 45th President of the United States emailed a communication to his supporters on Wednesday stating that the New York Times story that claimed Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz sought a blanket pardon from him was not true.
“Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon. It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him,” he said, Fox News reported.
Gaetz, 38, who was an ardent supporter of the former president, sought “blanket preemptive pardons” for himself and unnamed congressional allies for crimes potentially committed, The New York Times first reported. The request, however, was said to be viewed by White House officials at the time as likely to set a bad precedent.
A source familiar with the situation told Fox News on Wednesday that Gaetz’s request was met with “lots of eye rolling” and “wasn’t even considered” by the White House.
A representative from Gaetz’s office did not return Fox News’ request for comment.
Gaetz is being investigated for potential sex trafficking, The New York Times has reported, as well as payments to women.
The representative has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and said that the accusations are part of an elaborate extortion scheme against him.
“They wanted $25 million to make false allegations against me go away. My family would never pay a bribe. Now, the DOJ must release the tapes implicating their former colleague in the smear campaign against me. It’s all on the tapes,” Rep. Gaetz said in one tweet.
When Gaetz appeared on the Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight” he said that he was being extorted by former federal prosecutor David McGee, who is now a Pensacola attorney.
“On March 16, my father got a text message demanding a meeting wherein a person demanded $25 million in exchange for making horrible sex trafficking allegations against me go away,” he said on Fox News, naming the person as McGee.
“Our family was so troubled by that, we went to the local FBI. The FBI and the Department of Justice were so concerned about this attempted extortion of a member of Congress that they asked my dad to wear a wire, which he did, with the former Department of Justice official,” he said.
Gaetz said that he wants the FBI to release the tapes, and idea that McGee, who denies the allegations, supported.
“If there is a tape, play the tape,” McGee said to The Washington Post. “There is nothing on that tape that is untoward. It is a pleasant conversation of a dad concerned about his son and the trouble his son was in.”
“It is completely false,” he said. “It’s a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that he’s under investigation for sex trafficking of minors.”
“I have no connection with that case at all, other than, one of a thousand people who have heard the rumors,” he said.
The 38-year-old Congressman has vehemently denied the accusations that he had any sexual relationship with a minor.
“In the strongest possible terms. I deny that I have ever been with someone underage,” he said. “That is false.”
“They were asked why I had given them plane tickets, money, and other interactions. They were in their 20s,” the representative said.
The news comes mere days after the British tabloid The Daily Mail says that his arrest in an alleged sex trafficking ring is imminent.
The report said that sources told The Mail that Gaetz was expected to be indicted within the next few weeks after former Florida official and his friend Joel Greenberg became state’s evidence.