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Politico reporter Marc Caputo did an update for MSNBC's Ari Melber about Wednesday's developments in the ongoing saga of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and whether he is or isn't being indicted.
The news this morning was that the Justice Department asked Gaetz for his cell phone, which he handed over. More information has been revealed about the Bahamas trip with hand-surgeon and marijuana entrepreneur Jason Pirozzolo who made the invitation and paid for the trip. There were at least five women on the trip and according to one of them, they were all over 18 and no prostitution was involved.
"Yeah, it's a big problem for Matt Gaetz if the feds got his phone and that went in to get cleared through a judge, that kind of surveillance," said Melber. "Marc, this story has really accelerated with the reporting of the New York Times and your reporting in Politico. I don't know if you will answer this question, but I'm going to ask it. Does your reporting reflect that Matt Gaetz may have a legal/criminal problem or does your reporting at this point reflect a lot of stuff around him that the feds are looking at but that he may not be in things that are chargeable?"
Caputo confessed he was going to dodge the question a little, noting instead that it depends how "problem" is defined.
"When the federal government is seizing your phone, you got a problem," he said simply. "When your allies are saying, 'Hey, yeah, maybe he had sex with her, but it was when she was 18 and a half. When you are measuring people's ages in fractions, that's a problem. Is he going to be indicted? That's a whole other matter. The teen or former teen who is now 21, the question is what has she said to the federal government if anything. And what evidence is there that she can back up or shed more light on. Then obviously, there is the Joel Greenberg matter that he might have some problems as a witness against Gaetz. This is a guy who not only had sex with a 17-year-old but falsely smeared as a pedophile."
Republican Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) said that there wouldn't be any action on Gaetz until "something formal" took place. The Nation's Joan Walsh explained that when the DOJ takes your phone, it's a pretty formal act. Indeed it mandates a subpoena approved by a judge.
She noted that there seem to be a lot of witnesses involved in the scandal and that it will be difficult for Gaetz to deny if something happened.
Melber called out Fox News and other conservative outlets who aren't reporting much of the Gaetz story, other than the disastrous Tucker Carlson interview with Gaetz.
See the conversation below:
When the DOJ has your phone -- you've got a problem www.youtube.com
Liz Cheney says she won't support Trump in 2024 — after 'gravest violation of an oath of office by any president'
On Fox News Wednesday, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said that she will not back former President Donald Trump if he is nominated by the Republican Party for a third time in 2024.
"If Donald Trump were the 2024 nominee, would you support him?" asked anchor Neil Cavuto.
"I would not," said Cheney. She went on to say that Trump's incitement of the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol was "the gravest violation of an oath of office by any president in American history."
Cheney, the third-ranking member of the House GOP, was one of ten Republicans to vote to impeach Trump in connection with the Capitol riot. She has faced fury from within her own caucus, and although she narrowly managed to avoid being removed from her leadership position, she is already drawing primary challenges for her perceived disloyalty to the former president.
CAVUTO: If Donald Trump were the 2024 nominee, would you support him? CHENEY: I would not. https://t.co/fJ52M0oVwM— JM Rieger (@JM Rieger)1618437246.0
On Wednesday, Ivanka Trump posted an image of herself being vaccinated for COVID-19 to Instagram, urging her followers to get immunized as well.
"Today, I got the shot!!! I hope that you do too!" wrote Ivanka. "Thank you Nurse Torres!!!"
But Ivanka's urging fell on unwilling ears. Her post quickly filled up with angry replies from Trump supporters refusing to be vaccinated and suggesting a government conspiracy — despite the fact that the development of the vaccine began under, and was promoted by, former President Donald Trump himself.
"I'm losing respect for the Trump family. So over this virtue signaling," said one poster. Another said, "No thanks! Don't want to be a lab rat. #justsayno." Yet another replied, "Your personal choice but please don't push on others."
"No thanks! With a 99% survival rate, I shall pass. With Bill Gates involved I will not get one," said Rice448.
"Hell no. Why would you post this?" asked kenny_vv.
"Nope not putting that in my body," said call_me_g95.
"Bummer. I was hoping you were above this kind of virtue signaling," rmgvd commented.
"Wow that's extremely disappointing, but honestly I'm not surprised," said heather_15la.
"Nope and please stop trying to manipulate us into doing so. It's surprising to see you doing this now like the left and Hollywood have been," said the__real__american.
In recent weeks, polling indicates the percent of Americans unwilling to be vaccinated has dropped significantly. However, vaccine refusers remain, with white Republicans being among the most hostile group.
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