New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said Friday on CNN that former President Donald Trump had carefully worded his statement about the scandals swirling around Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (R).
In response to a New York Times report that claimed Gaetz had sought a blanket pardon, Trump issued a statement on Wednesday saying that "Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon." Trump added, "It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him."
According to Haberman, Trump's first instinct was to defend Gaetz, who has been a loyal defender of the former president.
But "a number of the former president's advisers have cautioned him that is a bad idea," Haberman told CNN. "The charges against Gaetz are not, you know, the deep state or related to the kinds of alleged deep state, as Donald Trump would say, or to the kinds of investigations that Donald Trump faced when he was in office. This relates to sex trafficking and allegedly involves a minor, and so there has been repeated urging of caution to Trump."
"Trump's statement, if you notice, was somewhat carefully parsed. He said, Gaetz did not discuss a pardon with me. They did not discuss a pardon and he said he did nothing wrong. I think that's the bare minimum of loyalty he could show and he did not go any further, and that was notable."
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