'Combative' Matt Gaetz went from 'serious' to spreading 'despicable lies and smears' to get ahead in the GOP
Rep. Matthew Louis Gaetz, II (R-FL) is the son of Donald J. "Don" Gaetz, the former President of the state Senate.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) used to be a "serious" congressman from a political dynasty — but has taken to spreading lies in defense of President Donald Trump.

The New York Times reported that when he was a Florida state legislator in Tallahassee, Gaetz had a reputation as "a serious, if combative, legislator who played an instrumental role" in killing Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

He touts being "on the pro-science side of the Republican Party" and wears his passion for animal rights on his sleeve, the Times' Glenn Thrush reported, adding that Gaetz also worked with Democrats to push marijuana legalization and overturn a ban on same-sex adoption in the Sunshine State.

He's since pivoted to, as Michael Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis said, spreading "despicable lies and personal smears."

Davis' comments came in February after Gaetz attacked Cohen on Twitter in what many considered witness intimidation ahead of the former Trump attorney's public hearing before Congress.

The comments even led Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), the former governor of Florida who worked closely with Gaetz on the Medicaid expansion block, to call the congressman's rhetoric "disgusting." Gaetz later apologized, though he admitted that he "wanted to cast [Cohen] in a bad light."

GOP consultant Ryan Wiggins, an operative who worked on Gaetz's first congressional campaign, said he suspects the congressman "probably enjoys the reactions he gets when he makes people’s heads explode on the national stage.”

Read the entire profile via the Times.