Donald Trump has released a brief statement denying that GOP Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida solicited a pardon from him, while also offering a defense of the embattled congressman.
“Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon. It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him,” Trump said in the Wednesday statement.
The former president’s statement came after The New York Times reported on Tuesday evening that Gaetz had floated the idea of “blanket pre-emptive pardons for himself and unidentified congressional allies for any crimes they may have committed,” citing two unidentified people with knowledge of the discussions. Late last month, the Times reported that the Justice Department has opened a probe against Gaetz over allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a minor.