Former President Donald Trump released a statement refuting a CNN report that alleged Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) recently requested a meeting at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach amidst allegations of sex trafficking, and notes the lack of reporting regarding Democrat Congressman Eric Swalwell who continues to serve on the powerful House Intel Committee after it was revealed he had a relationship with a Chinese spy.
“Fake News CNN, relying on all anonymous sources, meaning they probably made the whole thing up, wrote a very dishonest story claiming Congressman Matt Gaetz asked for a meeting with me at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida, and was denied. This is completely false,” Trump said in an email statement from his Save America Monday evening.
The former president also asked why CNN refused to not cover Swalwell’s affair with a Chinese honeytrap spy and continues to remain a member of the House Oversight Committee and Intelligence Committee, despite reports swirling that the California Democrat was seduced by a Chinese honeytrap spy in a bid to infiltrate the U.S political system.
“Why doesn’t CNN investigate and write about lightweight Democrat Congressman Eric Swalwell, who had a torrid and physical relationship with the Chinese spy Fang-Fang, but is somehow on the once-prestigious House Intelligence Committee,” Trump said.
Trump added that Swalwell is a “national security threat” for being “compromised” and called for his removal on both sensitive committees where House members are responsible for the oversight of the U.S Department of Homeland Security and the nation’s security legislation.
The statement from Trump comes as CNN reported over the weekend, citing two people familiar with the matter that the Floridian House lawmaker attempted to arrange a visit with Trump at Mar-a-Lago shortly after the news first broke that he was allegedly under federal investigation over whether he broke sexual trafficking laws by having sex with a 17-year-old girl. However, aides close to the former president apparently shot down Gaetz’s request, by the former president’s closest aides.
Gaetz called the CNN story “a total lie” tweeting Sunday night that, “No such meeting was denied nor sought.” He also demanded a retraction.
Gaetz spokesman Harlan Hill said that the Florida congressman never asked for such a meeting with Trump that week it was reported and was spending time with his fiancée, Ginger Luckey.
“Rep. Gaetz arrived at Doral, gave a speech, and left. He has not solicited a meeting with President Trump anytime recently, as confirmed by President Trump’s own team in a public statement today. Rep. Gaetz has been spending his time in recess relaxing with his fiancee, and appreciates all the support he has been receiving from his constituents — who in a poll last week demonstrated overwhelming support for the Congressman — as well groups like Women for America First who hosted him in Miami this weekend,” Hill said in an emailed statement.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller also denied the CNN report, tweeting that “no such scheduling or meeting request was ever made, and therefore, it could never have been declined.”
“This @CNN story is complete fake news. No such scheduling or meeting request was ever made, and therefore, it could never have been declined. Take note that this story has zero on-the-record sources. It’s literally made-up,” Miller shared in the tweet.
“We are demanding a full retraction. #FakeNews,” Miller added.
Last week, Trump broke his silence in a statement defending Gaetz while also denying The New York Times report that reported that the Florida lawmaker asked White House officials in the finals days of the administration for a blanket preemptive pardons for himself and an aide.
“Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon,” Trump said in a statement released last Wednesday. “It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him.”
The House Ethics Committee announced on Friday that it has opened an investigation into Gaetz following allegations of illegal drug use and sharing nude photos of women with his fellow colleagues on the House floor. House Committee Chairman Rep. Ted Deutsch (D-FL) and ranking Republican member Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) announced the review in a joint statement.
“The committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Matt Gaetz may have engaged in sexual misconduct and/or illicit drug use, shared inappropriate images or videos on the House floor, misused state identification records, converted campaign funds to personal use, and/or accepted a bribe, improper gratuity, or impermissible gift, in violation of House Rules, laws, or other standards of conduct,” the joint statement said.
Gaetz, on the same day it was announced the House Ethics Committee spoke at Trump’s Doral golf club in Miami, calling the allegations by the media an effort to smear him and vowing, “I have not yet begun to fight.”
“I’m built for the battle and I’m not going anywhere,” Gaetz said. “The smears against me range from distortions of my personal life to wild — and I mean wild — conspiracy theories.”