Embattled GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, who’s facing a federal investigation into sex trafficking allegations, was recently denied a meeting with Donald Trump at his Mar-a-Lago estate as the ex-President and his allies continue to distance themselves from the Florida congressman, according to CNN.
Citing two people familiar with the request, CNN reported that Gaetz tried to schedule a visit with Trump but the request was rejected by aides close to the former President, who have urged Trump not to stick his neck out to defend Gaetz.
The rejection signals that Gaetz finds himself increasingly isolated as he weathers a potentially career-ending scandal just months after he offered to leave his plum job in Congress to join the 45th President’s impeachment defense team. Trump has issued only one statement about Gaetz since the public first learned of the congressman’s role in a sex trafficking inquiry at the beginning of April. In it, Trump denied ever receiving a blanket pardon request from the 38-year-old congressman and noted Gaetz’s denial of the allegations against him.
The Department of Justice is investigating allegations that Gaetz had sex with an underage girl and with other women who were provided drugs and money in violation of sex trafficking and prostitution laws.
People familiar with the investigation told CNN that federal investigators are also seeking to determine whether Gaetz was provided travel and women in exchange for political favors as part of a broader probe.