Rep. Matt Gaetz on Tuesday defended himself against sex trafficking allegations in what Fox News host Tucker Carlson called “one of the weirdest interviews I have ever conducted.”
Carlson said Fox News called the Florida Republican as soon as the story broke, as “there’s always more than you read in the newspaper.”
“I don’t think that clarified much, but it certainly showed this is a deeply interesting story and we will be following it,” Carlson said in response to the interview. “Don’t quite understand it.”
Tucker after the commercial break:
“That was one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.” pic.twitter.com/ayKVX17JDM
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 31, 2021
The Florida Republican has been accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl.
“The person doesn’t exist. I have not had a relationship with a 17-year-old. That is totally false,” Gaetz told Carlson.
“The allegation, as I’ve read in The New York Times, is that I’ve traveled with some 17-year-old in some relationship. That is false and records will bear that out to be false.”
The New York Times was the first to report Gaetz was being investigated by the Justice Department over the alleged relationship as well as a possible violation of federal sex trafficking laws.
“A variety of federal statutes make it illegal to induce someone under 18 to travel over state lines to engage in sex in exchange for money or something of value,” The Times reported.
“You know, I’ve paid for flights, for hotel rooms. I’ve been, you know, generous as a partner,” he said. “I think someone is trying to make that look criminal when it is not.”
Gaetz outlined an extortion scheme he believes is afoot during his interview with Carlson.
“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.
Gaetz said his family went to the FBI and his father wore a wire during the meeting with former DOJ official David McGee.
“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 that will show that these allegations aren’t true, they’re merely intended to bleed my family out of money,” Gaetz said.
He added that the former DOJ official was going to give specific instructions Wednesday on how to wire a $4.5 million down payment on the bribe.
Gaetz also referred to a dinner with Carlson and his wife in which he brought a woman who was later threatened by the FBI, but Carlson said he didn’t remember that meeting.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.