Right-wing media outlet Newsmax is shooting down the idea of hiring the embattled Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who is currently caught up in a federal sex trafficking investigation.
“Newsmax has had no plans to hire Rep. Gaetz,” Newsmax spokesperson Brian Peterson told Reuters on Monday.
A source familiar with the news outlet’s policies told Reuters that the Republican congressman, a hardline supporter of ex-President Donald Trump, had reached out to the pro-Trump outlet earlier this year “and said he might leave Congress early and was interested in TV work.”
Newsmax “never told him we were interested,” the source reportedly said.
The timing of Gaetz’s reported request to join Newsmax follows Axios’ initial report in late March on the congressman’s interest in retiring early to work for the outlet.
Bombshell revelations of the Justice Department’s investigation into Gaetz over an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old teen and allegedly paying for her travel broke shortly after Axios reported on the Republican’s potential plans for retirement.
Since then, allegations of misconduct by Gaetz have ballooned to include payments to women in exchange for sex in arrangements with his wingman, former tax collector Joel Greenberg, who has pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking. Investigators are also reportedly looking at whether Gaetz was involved in a pay-for-play scheme in Florida’s marijuana industry.
Gaetz has not been charged with a crime and has denied all wrongdoing.