After reports surfaced detailing the investigation to Florida GOP Congressman Matt Gaetz’s alleged sexual relationship with a minor and violation of federal sex-trafficking laws, advisors to former president Donald Trump had to talk him out of publicly defending him, according to The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman.
“His first impulse was that he wanted to defend Gaetz, you know, ‘He’s one of our people,'” Haberman told CNN on Thursday. “Several of his advisors had told him that’s a very bad idea, that the nature of what Gaetz is being investigated for is so serious that this is not something that former President Trump should be out there on a limb” for.
As Business Insider points out, Trump’s reported inclination to defend Gaetz isn’t quite in line with the Republican establishment’s feeling about the Florida lawmaker.
“The reason you haven’t seen people in MAGA world defending Gaetz is less about him being unpopular, which he is in a lot of circles, and more about the fact that he hasn’t done a single thing to make people comfortable to defend him,” a Trump confidant told POLITICO.