Rep. Matt Gaetz appeared on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Tuesday to discuss the allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl.
Carlson said his interview with the Florida lawmaker was “one of the weirdest” he had ever conducted.
“If you just saw our Matt Gaetz interview, that was one of the weirdest interviews I have ever conducted,” Carlson said to his viewers.
On Tuesday, The New York Times broke the news that the Department of Justice is investigating whether Gaetz “had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him.”
Investigators are also examining whether Gaetz violated federal sex trafficking laws.
Gaetz denied the allegations but confirmed that he was under investigation during his interview with Carlson.
“It is a horrible allegation, and it is a lie,” and it is “verifiably false,” Gaetz said. “People can look at my travel records and see that that is not the case.”
Gaetz went on to say that he was a victim of a purported scheme that was organized by lawyer David McGee.
Gaetz said McGee texted his father on March 16 “demanding a meeting wherein a person demanded $25 million in exchange for making horrible sex-trafficking allegations against me go away.”
Gaetz said he was “so troubled” by McGee’s demands that he contacted the FBI.
The FBI and the DOJ were “so concerned about this attempted extortion of a member of Congress” that they instructed Gaetz’s father to wear a wire, he said.
Gaetz said if the audio recordings were released it would prove his innocence and show the allegations against him were “merely intended to try to bleed my family out of money.”
“Tonight I am demanding that the Department of Justice and the FBI release the audio recordings that were made under their supervision and at their direction which will prove my innocence and will show that these allegations weren’t true,” Gaetz said.
Gaetz attempted to pull Carlson into the alleged incident.
“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,” Gaetz told Carlson.
He said that the woman had been “threatened” by the FBI and told “she could face trouble” if she didn’t confess to authorities that Gaetz was involved in a “pay-for-play scheme.”
Carlson, however, said he had no recollection of the event.
“I don’t remember the woman you are speaking of or the context at all, honestly,” Carlson told Gaetz.
Later in the segment, Carlson said it was “one of the weirdest interviews” he had conducted and that it did not clarify much.
“I don’t think that clarified much, but it certainly showed this is a deeply interesting story, and we will be following it. Don’t quite understand it, but we will bring you more when we find out.”
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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