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Former President Donald Trump had to be talked out of defending Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz after reports surfaced that the Justice Department was investigating whether he had a sexual relationship with a minor and broke federal sex-trafficking laws.
That’s according to The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, who on Thursday told CNN’s “New Day” that Trump had really wanted to defend the GOP lawmaker, but that he was told to stand down because the allegations against Gaetz were so serious.
“His first impulse was that he wanted to defend Gaetz, you know, ‘He’s one of our people,'” Haberman said. “Several of his advisors had told him that’s a very bad idea, that the nature of what Gaetz is being investigated for is so serious that this is not something that former President Trump should be out there on a limb” for.
Indeed, the silence from Trumpworld was deafening in the days following The Times’ revelation about the Gaetz sex probe. Some within the former president’s orbit even celebrated the controversy, with one former White House staffer telling Insider last month, “He’s the meanest person in politics.”
Another Trump confidant echoed that assessment, telling Politico, “The reason you haven’t seen people in MAGA world defending Gaetz is less about him being unpopular, which he is in a lot of circles, and more about the fact that he hasn’t done a single thing to make people comfortable to defend him.”
This person added that Gaetz’s defense of his actions during an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson was “an absolutely embarrassing trainwreck.”
The Daily Beast reported on Friday that Trump had stayed quiet on the controversy on the advice of his lawyers. One source told the news website that Trump complained that the situation was “really bad” for Gaetz and …read more
Source:: Business Insider