With Donald Trump, loyalty is a one-way street. The man demands absolute subservience and unquestioning allegiance from those who work for or with him but has absolutely no qualms throwing a former ally to the wolves the moment it seems like a savvy political decision for him. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve disgraced yourself for the man, how often you’ve praised him in the media, or how tattered your reputation has become in his service. He will abandon you to save his own skin.
This is a lesson that has been drilled home for just about anyone who was paying attention to the way Trump treated his former “friends” throughout his presidency but it’s a lesson Rep. Matt Gaetz seems to just be learning now. Gaetz is fighting for political survival in one of the worst Congressional sex scandals in years now that the American people know that the Department of Justice is investigating him for possible sex trafficking involving a 17-year-old girl.
While he has aggressively cultivated a reputation as the most outspoken of the MAGA Congressmen, Gaetz has received little support from the president who he has so pathetically prostrated himself before. Yesterday, The New York Times revealed that Gaetz tried to secure a blanket pardon from the Trump White House in the final days of the reality TV star’s first and only term. At the time, the DOJ had already begun to question his associates about the allegations about the 17-year-old. Ultimately, Gaetz did not receive his pardon.
Trump finally spoke out about Gaetz’s growing scandal today, and his tepid words were likely a far cry from what the Florida Congressman was hoping for. Peter Baker of The New York Times reported on Trump’s remarks and revealed that the disgraced former president denied that Gaetz ever requested a pardon but also didn’t exactly rush to his defense.
“It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him,” said Trump, making what appears to be a very calculated decision not to insist on Gaetz’s innocent.
The former president didn’t say whether he believed the Congressman’s claims that he’s done nothing wrong, just that he’s made such claims. Coming from Trump—a man who has no problem lying and weighing in on things long before the full facts of the matter have been revealed—these milquetoast comments are damning.
It’s as if Trump knows that Gaetz is going down in the end and has no interest in chaining himself to a sinking man. This is what loyalty to a psychopath like Donald Trump gets you.
Trump makes first comment on Gaetz scandal: "Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon. It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him."
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) April 7, 2021
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