Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) did not deny Tuesday night that the Justice Department is investigating him for sex trafficking, related to his alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl two years ago, but he did say in a bizarre Fox News interview that the 17-year-old girl does not exist, that he had no sexual relationships with minors, and that there are no "pictures of me with child prostitutes."
Gaetz also elaborated on his allegation that a former Justice Department official was trying to extort him to make the "horrible sex trafficking allegations against me go away," naming the former official as David McGee, now a lawyer in private practice. McGee told The Daily Beast on Tuesday night that any reports of extortion involving him or his law firm are "completely, totally false," adding, "This is a blatant attempt to distract from the fact that Matt Gaetz is apparently about to be indicted for sex trafficking underage girls."
Katie Benner, one of the New York Times reporters who broke the story of the months-old DOJ sex trafficking investigation, told MSNBC Tuesday night that McGee — who she did not identify by name — is not involved in the investigation and suggested Gaetz is trying to deflect attention in a very odd, self-immolating way. "He is basically destroying and blowing up an FBI investigation" into alleged extortion against his family, she noted.
Gaetz, 38, got engaged to girlfriend Ginger Luckey in December, but he told Axios earlier Tuesday that "I have definitely, in my single days, provided for women I've dated. You know, I've paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I've been, you know, generous as a partner. I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not." He added that he is "absolutely" confident none of the women were underage.