Matt Gaetz shows Donald Trump's defiant style is here to stay

He followed in the former president’s footsteps, blaming “cancel culture” for its troubles, crusading himself for the principles Trump advocated, and vowing that he was “built for battle” while adhering to the “Save America Summit” applied by Women for America First at Trump National Doral in Miami.

Gaetz is facing a federal investigation into allegations of sex trafficking and on Friday the house’s ethics committee announced that it was initiating an investigation into the allegations surrounding him. His Friday night appearance – his first public appearance since news of the federal investigation last week – was another distraction for the Republican Party as GOP leaders and donors head to the nearby for their spring meeting this weekend Palm Beach has a chance to regroup and reshape its embassy after losing control of the White House and the US Senate and still being exiled to the minority in the US House. The Florida Congressman strongly denied all charges and no charges were brought against him. But few GOP congressmen rushed to defend it. At the same time, Illinois MP Adam Kinzinger, a longtime critic of Trump, is the only Republican Congressman to have asked Gaetz to resign. Despite Gaetz’s loyalty to Trump, the former president has largely stayed away from the controversy in public, CNN and others reported this week that Gaetz was seeking a preventive pardon. A Gaetz spokesman denied the Times that the pardon request was related to the Justice Department investigation. After the news broke, Trump made a brief statement. “Congressman Matt Gaetz never apologized to me,” said Trump. “It must also be remembered that he completely denied the allegations against him.” At a time when the GOP is trying to regain its foothold to tackle President Joe Biden’s increasingly liberal agenda and corporate backlash to laws like the restrictive Gaetz, a law approved by the Republicans The controlled legislature passed in Georgia has distracted from that work by taking a page from Trump’s playbook, often marked by a refusal to apologize and a willingness to blame others, even if that logic fails Makes sense. Gaetz formulated his problems on Friday as a result of his willingness to stand up to the leaders of both parties and the “swamp” in Washington, DC.

“Let me assure you, I haven’t started fighting yet,” said Gaetz. “I’m built for battle and I’m not going anywhere. The trade-offs against me range from distortions of my personal life to wild – and I mean wild – conspiracy theories.”

He positioned himself as the champion for Trump’s “America first” agenda, adding that he would not be intimidated by “lying media”. He again said he was a victim of extortion – a claim he posted on Fox News last week’s investigation became public. Standing outside the Trump Club, he used many of the same phrases the former president had adopted when scrutinizing both his personal and professional behavior.

“I can be a canceled man in some corners. I can even be a wanted man because of the deep state,” said Gaetz. “But I hear the millions of Americans who feel forgotten, canceled, ignored, marginalized, and purposeful. I am confident that the silent majority in this great country is getting louder by the day.”

A distraction for a party without power

Gaetz is only a member of the GOP – but his jaw-dropping speech was yet another example of how the Republican Party is still under the spell of Trump and unable to go beyond his tactics and obsessions in strategizing for victory in the Develop year 2022.

As they meet this weekend to formulate the message for 2022 and 2024, it is noticeable how much the party is still fighting the final battle – defined by the acceptance of Trump’s false conspiracy theories about the vote and the 2020 elections that are in they have transformed hundreds of bills into state legislatures that would make voting difficult. These efforts are sure to take place on Saturday night, when Trump will act as the marquee speaker at an event in Mar-a-Lago as part of the Republican National Committee’s spring meeting.

After Trump’s tumultuous tenure in the White House and his role in inciting the January 6 uprising in the Capitol, there are clear warning signs that the GOP message will not resonate or even break through when the party sets its mid-term agenda.

President Joe Biden has maintained strong approval ratings and his Covid aid package proved popular with voters despite strong opposition from Congressional Republicans. In polls in the first quarter of 2021, Gallup also found that an average of 49% of adults in the United States identify with the Democratic Party or say they are independents who turn to the Democratic Party, compared with 40% who said they were Republicans or Republicans to be . That was the biggest gap since the end of 2012; The Democrats’ advantage was usually between 4 and 6 percentage points. Although Republicans like Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney, House No. 3 Republican, criticized Trump’s conduct in the run-up to the insurrection, there is little evidence that the party is showing less tolerance for conspiratorial politics who served as a role model for visible GOP personalities like Gaetz and Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.

The announcement by the house’s ethics committee to deal with potential misconduct by Gaetz added another threat to his situation.

“The committee is aware of public allegations that Representative Matt Gaetz may have committed sexual misconduct and / or illegal drug use, shared inappropriate pictures or videos on the floor of the house, misused state identification records, converted and / or converted campaign funds for personal use accepted a bribe, inappropriate gratuity, or improper gift that violates house rules, laws, or other standards of conduct, “said Florida Democrat Ethics Chairman Ted Deutch and senior Republican member Jackie Walorski, an Indiana Republican, in a joint statement Friday.

In response, Gaetz’s bureau told CNN that “the allegations are obviously false and have not been corroborated by a single person willing to leave their names behind”.

CNN previously reported that federal investigators were investigating allegations that Gaetz had sex with an underage girl, who was then 17 years old, and with other women who violated sex trafficking and prostitution laws for drugs and money were made available. Investigators are also trying to determine whether Gaetz was given travel and women in return for political favors as part of a wider investigation, people familiar with the investigation told CNN. The house’s ethics committee alluded to a CNN report that Gaetz allegedly showed last week photos and videos by other lawmakers of naked women he slept with, including on the floor of the house. Multiple sources, including two people who showed the material directly, said Gaetz viewed the pictures of women on his cell phone and talked to them about sex.

But in classic Trumpian fashion, Gaetz distracted from these allegations on Friday night, devoting much of his speech to his efforts to recognize the potential of women in his employees when he said he had elevated them to more prominent roles.

On Saturday, Gaetz’s office released a lengthy statement attacking Georgia Democrats for corporate backlash to the new law that misspelled their names and beating Biden for dealing with the border crisis. The allegations against the congressman were not mentioned.

It was once again a masterclass in distraction that should impress the former president, who still rules a party trying to set its course without him in the White House.

This story was updated with a statement from Gaetz’s office.