Here's why Trump hasn't thrown Matt Gaetz a lifeline

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has made a name of himself as one of the most passionate defenders of Donald Trump. But the former president has been silent as the GOP lawmaker faces accusations of child sex trafficking, prostitution, illegal drug use, and other potential crimes.

"In the days following revelations about the federal investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz's alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, advisers to Donald Trump have consistently offered him a simple message: Please, please keep your mouth shut. According to two people familiar with the matter, the twice-impeached, former U.S. president has closely been monitoring the scandal engulfing one of his favorite allies on Capitol Hill. The ex-president has, in his typical fashion, casually quizzed several confidants about what they think of the situation and if there's anything that he should do about it," The Daily Beast reported Friday evening.

"But multiple people close to Trump have flatly advised him to stay out of it—refrain from publicly defending Gaetz, they are telling the ex-president, at least for the time being," The Beast reported. "The two sources said that, in all of the conversations they're aware of, Trump has appeared to ultimately agree with the recommendations to keep quiet."

"One of the sources added that the former president has lamented that the whole thing seems 'really bad' for Gaetz, while also mentioning that the allegations could be a 'smear' against the Trump uber-loyalist," The Beast reported. "Gaetz did not respond to a message asking if he'd heard from former President Trump in recent days. And a Trump spokesperson was also silent Friday. But as of Friday evening, the former president and his office have not issued an official statement on the matter."

Trump, however, did issue a delusional statement on Friday evening following the death of Capitol Police Officer Billy Evans.