Why is Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) still allowed to pretend that he has any legitimacy as a Congressman after the allegations that he sex-trafficked an under-aged girl were revealed?
Especially since Democratic politicians including former Senator Al Franken (D-MN) and former Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) were hounded out of office for accusations of behavior that, while contemptible, were far less serious than the criminal charges for which Gaetz is likely under investigation.
Yet, there was Rep. Gaetz at the House Armed Services Committee meeting today, berating senior U.S. military officials as if he had a shred of moral authority still left.
The Florida lawmaker confronted General Mark Milley, the commander of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with a quote from his previous testimony to the committee in February of last year in which he stated that “we know that we’re not going to defeat the Taliban militarily and their not going to defeat the government of Afghanistan militarily” before going onto taunt Milley by saying “you really blew that call, didn’t you, General?”
As General Milley tried to respond to Gaetz’s rhetorical question with an explanation of his original comment, the congressman interrupted him to insist that Milley had “spent more time with Bob Woodward on this book,” — here Gaetz held up a copy of Peril, the new account of the last days of the Trump presidency written with his Washington Post colleague Robert Costa, that includes comments from the general — “than you spent analyzing the very likely prospect that the Afghanistan government was going to fall immediately to the Taliban, didn’t you?”
“Not even close, congressman,” the Joint Chiefs chairman calmly replied while shaking his head in apparent disbelief of what Gaetz was accusing him of.
The extremist right-wing legislator continued to harangue the general over the details of the withdrawal from the 20-year war in Afghanistan, saying that he didn’t expect a resignation from someone who seemed to “be very happy failing up” at the Pentagon, before insisting that Milley would be fired were it not for the fact that President Biden was “so addled.”
Rep. Gaetz ranted on along those lines until he was out of time, but his hostile and insulting remarks were so upsetting to the next speaker, Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), that she began her remarks with an apology to the assembled Pentagon brass for “the behavior of my colleague” before offering her gratitude for their “service and for the decades of experience” that they “bring to the conversation.”
You can watch video excerpts of Congressman Gaetz’s performance at today’s House Armed Services Committee meeting in the clips below.
After Matt Gaetz concludes by calling President Biden too "addled" to fire Milley and Austin, Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) begins her testimony by apologizing for him pic.twitter.com/nABESB5P0U
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 29, 2021
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Vinnie Longobardo is the Managing Editor of Occupy Democrats. He's a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music, and art.