After Rep. Matt Gaetz accused a Florida lawyer of a $25 million extortion scheme to make sex trafficking allegations disappear, Republicans on and off Capitol Hill on Wednesday largely kept their mouths shut.
Gaetz—the Trump-loving, Fox News-grinning, 38-year-old Florida Republican—has a less-than-sterling reputation among his congressional colleagues. More than a half-dozen lawmakers have spoken to these reporters about his love of alcohol and illegal drugs, as well as his proclivity for younger women. It’s well-known among Republican lawmakers that Gaetz was dating a college student—one over the age of consent—in 2018. She came to Washington as an intern.
In response to these allegations and a question about whether he had ever had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old while in Congress, Gaetz told The Daily Beast late Wednesday night:
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