Gaetz Aides Sent Embarrassing Videos of Him to Others: Report
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Matt Gaetz's aides reportedly sent embarrassing videos of him to other Republican operatives

Matt Gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz.
AP
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz's staffers sent embarrassing videos of him to other Republicans, Politico reported.
  • The news is unrelated to a federal investigation into whether Gaetz broke sex-trafficking laws.
  • But it highlights the lawmaker's waning popularity within his own party and among his staffers.

Aides working for Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida sent embarrassing videos of their boss to other Republican operatives, Politico reported on Tuesday.

It's unclear what was on the videos, and the news is not connected to a wide-ranging Justice Department investigation into whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a minor and violated federal sex-trafficking laws. But it underscores Gaetz's status as a wild card on Capitol Hill, one who is widely disliked even within his own camp.

Perhaps the most notable silence is that of former President Donald Trump, who had counted Gaetz among his most loyal defenders. The Florida Republican fervently defended Trump during congressional oversight hearings and endorsed Trump's wildest conspiracy theories.

One former White House staffer told Insider this month, shortly after the news of the Justice Department's investigation into Gaetz broke, that while the president's former aides weren't happy to see the congressman in hot water, they did "feel a little vindicated."

Read more: Matt Gaetz's Florida sex game included a 'Harry Potter' challenge and 'extra points' for sleeping in sorority houses, a female Republican tells Insider

"He's the meanest person in politics," the former staffer said.

Gaetz has denied the allegations against him, writing in a Washington Examiner opinion column on Monday that "the swamp is out to drown me with false charges."

"Washington scandal cycles are predictable, and sex is especially potent in politics," he wrote. "Let me first remind everyone that I am a representative in Congress, not a monk, and certainly not a criminal."

Gaetz went on to say that the allegations against him were made up by the "D.C. swamp" and the mainstream media in an effort to sink the reputation of "a congressman who loathes the swamp and fights both sides of it on a daily basis."

The lawmaker has largely come to his own defense over the past several days instead of speaking through his office, particularly after the resignation of his top communications aide, Luke Ball, on Friday.

Gaetz said he had "absolutely" no plans to resign.

"I'm going to fight like hell for my constituents and the country I deeply love," he wrote in the Washington Examiner.

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