“Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon,” Trump said in a statement.
“It must be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him,” he added.
Citing two anonymous sources, the New York Times claimed in a recent report that Gaetz asked the White House for preemptive pardons for himself and others.
A spokesperson for Gaetz said that the sources were conflating Gaetz’s public call last year for Trump to pardon a slew of people.
“Entry-level political operatives have conflated a pardon call from Representative Gaetz—where he called for President Trump to pardon ‘everyone from himself, to his administration, to Joe Exotic’—with these false and increasingly bizarre, partisan allegations against him,” the spokesman said. “Those comments have been on the record for some time, and President Trump even retweeted the congressman, who tweeted them out himself.”
Gaetz is reportedly being investigated for possibly paying a minor girl for sex. The Florida representative has vehemently denied the accusations.
“First, I have never, ever paid for sex. And second, I, as an adult man, have not slept with a 17-year-old,” he wrote in an op-ed this week.
Gaetz said he is not a monk and is enjoying monogamy. He is engaged.
“It comes as no surprise that my political opponents want to sensationalize and criminalize my prior sex life just as I am getting engaged to the best person I’ve ever known. It is regrettable that the battle of ideas should thus become so personal. But then again, when your ideas suck, you need to stoop this low,” he added.
The updates came after a former Air Force officer, Bob Kent, admitted to being part of a group that tried to press Gaetz’s father, former Florida Sen. Don Gaetz, for $25 million in return for making his son’s “future legal and political problems go away.”
Kent said what happened was not extortion and that there was never any threat involved.
Rep. Gaetz has described what Kent and others did as attempted extortion and said his dad wore a wire as part of a federal probe into the matter.
The FBI declined to comment to The Epoch Times and the Department of Justice has not returned inquiries.
Documents published last week outlined the alleged extortion scheme. They included an email from assistant U.S. Attorney David Goldberg confirming to Don Gaetz’s lawyer that he was cooperating with the FBI.
A former Gaetz staffer came forward on Monday to accuse the FBI of approaching him with “baseless” claims as he attested to Gaetz’s character.